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Maybe it's a sign of how cautious state senators are with new ethics rules passed last year: They hesitated just a bit to accept free Girl Scout cookies on Wednesday until an announcement was made.

"The cookies are under the $10 limit" on the value of gifts that legislators may accept, Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, told colleagues. "They are $3.50 a box."

After that, senators gladly accepted cookies passed out by Girl Scouts who had been invited to the Senate by Davis to honor that group. He noted that the girls attached personalized business cards to the free cookies, in case senators wanted to buy more.

Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, a former scout who works with her daughter's troop, also said on behalf of her daughter, "If anyone needs any cookies, I'm taking orders."

Lee Davidson