Baldacci OKs lobbying changes

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AUGUSTA (AP) – One of a series of bills to tighten Maine’s lobbying-disclosure requirements has been signed into law.

Gov. John Baldacci on Monday put his signature on a measure that requires lobbyists or their associates to disclose the name of the person or organization they represent when they testify before a legislative committee. Lobbyists generally follow that practice already.

The new law will also require lobbyists to disclose whether they are paying someone who testifies before a legislative committee.

Two other lobbying bills await further action in the Legislature. One amends the definition of lobbying to include communication with state departmental commissioners for the purpose of influencing legislative action.

The other bill requires the state ethics commission to set up a Web site listing all lobbyists, their employers, contact information and photos.

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