Leftwich wins bipartisan support for Ethics Reform
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
The full Senate has given approval to legislation mandating a two-year cooling off period before a former lawmaker could become a lobbyist. State Sen. Debbe Leftwich is the author of Senate Bill 847, which was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate, passing on a vote of 40 to 5 last week.
“In my first term six years ago, there were only a handful of former legislators lobbying, but three of them were former House Speakers, and you know they had a huge advantage when it came to getting their bills heard and passed,” said Leftwich, an Oklahoma City Democrat. “Today, we have almost 40 former members who are lobbyists. For most private citizens, this just doesn’t seem right. We need this legislation to restore public confidence in state government.”
Under SB 847, former lawmakers or other elected officials would have to wait two years before they could return to the State Capitol as lobbyists. “I’ve run this bill three times over the past six years, so I am very grateful to have been given the chance to debate this measure and secure passage in the Senate,” Leftwich said.
“I’ve always said perception is everything. If we truly care about how this looks to the public, and want to work to regain their trust, this can help us do that. I hope the House will move quickly to pass this bill and send it to Governor Henry for his signature.”