- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - New lobbying rules developed after Rhode Island’s disastrous deal with video game company 38 Studios are becoming law.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the lobbying reform legislation into law Wednesday. It takes effect in January.

The legislation gives the office of Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea more authority to investigate and sanction lobbyists who break the rules. Gorbea, a Democrat, drafted the legislation.

Gorbea began working on the reforms after she was unable to pursue charges against people accused of lobbying violations surrounding the state’s $75 million deal with the failed video game company, which was started by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

The reform measure clarifies lobbying regulations and increases the penalties for violating them. Lobbyists are supportive of the reforms because it simplifies the registration process.

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