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As We See It

Legislation banning lawmakers from becoming lobbyists could be a big deal

Assemblyman Pat Hickey of the 77th (2013) Nevada Assembly District.

Nevada state legislators make $146.90 per day. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about either. That figure, however, leaves something out: After a congressperson’s term is through, he or she often finds work as a lobbyist, using the relationships developed in office to advocate for a particular cause. And he or she makes good money doing it. Republic Report says the congressperson-to-lobbyist jump comes with a 1,452.00 percent pay raise, on average.

But Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey is looking to cut down on the “revolving door.” He proposed a bill that would ban former lawmakers from becoming paid lobbyists until one legislative session has been held. On one hand, this would further separate the line drawn between government officials and special interest groups. On the other hand, the bill—a court would likely say—restricts the former congresspersons’ speech.

Currently, lobbyists must follow domestic regulations and fulfill disclosure requirements. Basically, they can’t buy congress people anything incredibly expensive. And the congress people have a duty to report gifts they received. So a ban on who can become a lobbyist would be a big change, if it passes.

Betcha it doesn’t.

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