Stein Bill Would Toughen Kentucky Lobbying Law

State Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington wants to beef up Kentucky’s legislative ethics code. Legislation she’s offering would give Kentucky a true “no cup of coffee” law, prohibiting lobbyists from purchasing meals or beverages for individual lawmakers. Right now, each lobbyist may spend up to $100 per year on food and beverages for each legislator.

“When it comes down to individuals and individual families and candidates, the ‘no cup of coffee’ rule complete should be enacted, I believe. We get plenty of chances to eat and drink on the dime of these folks,” Stein said.

Stein’s bill would also prohibit employers of lobbyists and political action committees from making campaign contributions to legislative candidates or legislators during regular legislative sessions. Current law already restricts such activity for lobbyists, but not their employers.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.