Senator Julie Lassa, Representative Spencer Black (Photo: Jackie Johnson) A bill in the state legislature aims to prevent lawmakers from becoming lobbyists for a year after the date they leave office.

State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) explains, her proposal addresses the "revolving door" between government and special interest groups.

"It would have legislators abide by the same rules as other state officials in terms of when they would leave office. They would have to wait a year before they could become a lobbyist."

At a Committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations hearing in the capitol building, Lassa says constituents need to know that their elected officials are looking out for their best interest, not plotting for a new job for themselves. Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) says this is common sense reform.

"As legislators it's often uncomfortable when a former colleague who you've worked with just a couple days before, or weeks before, on legislation then sits across the table from you across in a different capacity as a lobbyist. It makes sense to put a little breathing room, a little time between service in the legislature and potential service as a lobbyist."

Lassa says violators would be subject to a forfeiture of not more than 5-thousand for each violation and up to six months behind bars. (Senate Bill-23)

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:16 MP3)

Share the News