Bill Would Tighten Lobbying Rules For Former Kansas Officials

Jan 30, 2018

With gubernatorial candidates competing to lead the charge against corruption, the top Democrat in the Kansas House is pushing a bill that would clamp down on the revolving door in Topeka. ​

The bill would make former lawmakers, state elected officials and senior state agency staffers wait one year before working as a lobbyist.

House Minority Leader Jim Ward, who’s running to be the Democratic candidate for governor, made his case for the legislation before a House committee Monday.

“The goal is to make sure that when you’re a lobbyist you’ve not got your thumb on the scales because of relationships you’ve built or favors that you’ve done,” Ward said.

Republican Rep. Kristey Williams said the bill would limit the ability of people to advance their careers after public service.

“We make a huge sacrifice when we come up here, both monetarily and in opportunity costs," she said. "If you add this to it, will it make it more difficult for people to say yes to becoming a representative or to taking any position."

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle is introducing another bill that would require disclosures from people lobbying the governor’s administration as well as the Legislature.

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Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.