Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2010
Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Senator Leftwich Wins Unanimous Approval for Ethics Reform
The Senate Judiciary Committee has given unanimous
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. She’s championed
the bill since first becoming a member, introducing the legislation
three separate times, but this is the first year the bill has been
heard in committee.
“I told the members that when I first served in the Senate
in 2004, there were only a handful of former legislators lobbying,
but three of them were former House Speakers—there’s
no way the average person would have that kind of clout when they’re
out here lobbying for a bill,” said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City.
“Six years later, we have almost 40 former members who are
lobbyists. I think we need to reassure the public that our focus
is representing them, not trying to line up a high-paying job after
we leave office.”
If SB 847 becomes law, former lawmakers or other elected officials
would have to wait two years before they could return to the State
Capitol as lobbyists.
“This is about perception, and it’s about public trust—and
on this issue, the two go hand in hand,” Leftwich said. “I’m
very grateful to the Judiciary Committee for hearing and approving
this legislation and I hope for their continued support as the bill
moves through the legislative process.”
SB 847 must next be considered by the full Senate.
For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich: 405-521-5557