Lobbyist 'cooling off' period wins House approval - Albuquerque Journal

Lobbyist ‘cooling off’ period wins House approval

SANTA FE — The state House wants to make it more difficult for ex-lawmakers to profit from their tenure in the Legislature.

A proposal approved late Tuesday would prohibit former lawmakers, cabinet secretaries and public regulation commissioners from serving as paid lobbyists within two years of leaving the government.

“This is a good government bill,” said Rep. Jim Dines, an Albuquerque Republican and co-sponsor. “It doesn’t have party lines.”

The other two co-sponsors are Democratic Reps. Nathan Small and Joanne Ferrary, both from Las Cruces.

House Bill 73 won approval on a 58-2 vote and now goes to the Senate. If it passes there, the bill would also need approval from Gov. Susana Martinez to become law.

There is no “cooling off” period required in New Mexico now, though 32 other states have such laws.

Two years ago, 26 former lawmakers were registered as lobbyists, according to Common Cause New Mexico, an advocacy group supporting the proposal.

 

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