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Virginia Senate passes ethics bill limiting gifts

Tuesday - 2/11/2014, 5:14am  ET

State lawmakers weigh in

WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck reports.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's lawmakers could face new limits on the value of gifts they can take from lobbyists under proposals moving through the General Assembly.

The Senate voted 39-1 Monday to approve an ethics bill after a lengthy debate in which several supporters of the bill enumerated its flaws, saying it was either an unnecessary bill or an inadequate one.

The bill would limit "tangible" gifts from lobbyists to $250 per item, but would not prevent lawmakers from accepting expensive trips and meals from special interests.

Lawmakers have vowed to tighten Virginia's ethics rules in the wake of a gift scandal involving former Gov. Bob McDonnell, who was indicted on federal corruption charges last month.

The House is set to take up a similar bill Monday afternoon.

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