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Senate Finance Tops List of Most Courted Committees

The Senate Finance Committee is the most popular dinner date in Annapolis.

That's according to a new report by the State Ethics Commission, which details how often various committees and delegations were invited to dinners, receptions and other "special events" by lobbysts. The report covers November 2007 to October 2008.

Under Maryland law, lobbyists cannot entertain individual lawmakers. But they can invite certain groups of lawmakers -- and they do so often.

The Senate Finance Committee, whose jurisdiction includes health insurance and energy regulation, received 41 invitations from lobbyists and their clients.

The House Health and Government Operations Committee was the second most popular, with 30 invites, followed by the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, with 27 invites.

Close behind was the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, with 26 invites, and the Montgomery County Delegation -- the legislature's largest -- with 25 invitations. Prince George's lawmakers received 22.

There were also 103 receptions to which the entire General Assembly was invited.

All told, more than $2.1 million was spent on the "special events" detailed in the report.

By John Wagner  |  January 30, 2009; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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