Lobbyists Spend Less on High-end Eats, Lawmakers Spend More - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lobbyists Spend Less on High-end Eats, Lawmakers Spend More

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Lobbyists in Virginia are spending less taking public officials out to eat at high-end restaurants, while lawmakers are more frequently covering the cost of eating out with their virtually unrestricted campaign accounts, according to data collected by the Virginia Public Access Project.
    
The shift comes after a gift scandal caused Virginia's elected officials to tighten the state's ethics rules.
    
Lawmaker spending on meals was up 58 percent during this year's legislative session compared to 2013, before lawmakers started enacting ethics reform measures. Meanwhile, lobbyists are wining and dining lawmakers at less expensive restaurants, the data shows.
    
State lawmakers began passing ethics legislation in the wake of a gifts scandal involving former Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction on corruption charges was recently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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