Gov. Kay Ivey late Friday signed into law a controversial bill exempting economic development professionals from a requirement to register as lobbyists. State Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said the requirement could hurt industrial recruitment, since economic developers would need to disclose their employers during a typically confidential site selection process. In a statement, Ivey said the legislation "enables Alabama to remain on a level playing field with other states, as we compete for job creating capital investments." Opponents said the bill opens a big loophole in the ethics law. The bill divided the Senate, where the measure squeaked through on a 15-14 vote. One of Ivey's opponents in the Republican primary, Scott Dawson, blasted her decision to sign the bill. "Follow the money and you'll find where she gets her talking points: from the same lobbyists and politicians who have betrayed the people of Alabama at every turn and I'm not having it," Dawson said.
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