Legislators and top state officials should have to wait two years before becoming registered lobbyists, says Common Cause Minnesota.
The group points specifically to the case of state Sen. Dan Larson, DFL-Bloomington, who resigned from the Legislature last year and immediately took a job with a Minneapolis law and lobbying firm where he’d worked previously, according to Finance and Commerce.
Thirty-one other states and the federal government already have rules in place determining how long a legislator or elected official must wait after leaving office before registering as a lobbyist.
“The funny thing is that [the waiting period] has happened at the federal level, but it has yet to happen here in Minnesota,” said Mike Dean, Common Cause Minnesota’s executive director.
Not that we haven’t tried.
Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, has twice introduced legislation to stop the “revolving door.” In the 2007 session, it failed in the Senate on a tie vote; this year, it never came to the floor.
Dean says supporters will try again.
“We’ll continue to push hard for the legislation,” he said. “It was a challenge this last session; with the budget, there was a lot on legislators’ plates. But we think it has a better prospect this time around.”