Righter: Legislators and lobbying don’t mix
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) has filed legislation that would prohibit the practice of state legislators working as paid lobbyists.
Senate Bill 2302 changes the ban on legislators lobbying to include lobbying the executive branch of state government, any communication with an official within local government done with the intent of influencing actions or outcomes. This will apply to a legislator, a legislator’s spouse and an immediate family member of a legislator who is living in the legislator’s household.
Sen. Righter issued the following statement after filing the ethics proposal:
“The recent revelations—including the indictment of a House Democrat who worked as a paid lobbyist and allegedly attempted to bribe another elected official—makes it clear that the practice should be banned. Those who would suggest we can resolve these troublesome ethical and criminal conduct issues by tinkering with regulations involving disclosure and registration are, in my opinion, missing the big picture. There is a culture of corruption surrounding the Capitol, and banning lobbying by legislators is a step toward resolving these issues and restoring public confidence in the legislature.”
Currently, members of the General Assembly are allowed to lobby, for compensation, units of local government. Righter’s legislation would make it unlawful for legislators to receive compensation for lobbying.