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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 8, 2010

Sen. Debbe Leftwich

Senator Leftwich Continues Push for Ethics Legislation

State Sen. Debbe Leftwich said Monday she would continue to push for legislation that would prohibit any former lawmaker or other elected official from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving office. Her legislation, Senate Bill 847, was filed last session, but was not heard in committee. The Senate deadline for committee action this session is February 18.

“Under current law, an elected official can’t leave office and work for the state or do a job that is funded with state dollars for two years,” said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “For years, I’ve pushed to extend that concept to include a two-year moratorium on elected officials leaving office to become lobbyists.”

Leftwich originally filed legislation creating a two-year moratorium back in 2005. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee, but wasn’t given a hearing. She filed similar legislation in 2007, and that bill languished in the Rules Committee. Currently, SB 847 is in Rules where it was assigned last year.

“There is still time for the bill to be heard. It’s simply a matter of whether there’s a political will to hear this legislation,” Leftwich said. “Perception is everything. I think it just looks wrong when someone leaves in November and is back out here within a few months lobbying their former colleagues. I believe my legislation would increase the public’s confidence and trust in the fact that current members are looking out for their districts—not on the look-out for future lobbying jobs.

For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich: 405-521-5557

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