[r88] Rep. Bosma Joins Call for Cooling-Off Period (3/3/2009)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Start Date: 3/3/2009 All Day
End Date: 3/3/2009
STATEHOUSE - Indiana legislators should wait at least a year before becoming lobbyists and potentially working for industries they once regulated. That is the essence of legislation House Republican Leader Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) plans to file for the upcoming General Assembly session.

Rep. Bosma's legislation would require legislators leaving the General Assembly after June 30, 2009, to wait one year before registering as a legislative-branch lobbyist. Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis) has introduced the same measure in the Indiana Senate, and Rep. Bosma hopes to move the bill through the House.

"More than half of the states have cooling-off periods," Rep. Bosma said, "and Gov. Daniels has instituted such a period for the executive branch. The time has come for the General Assembly to embrace this same transparency. A cooling-off period would be an important step in establishing more trust between Hoosier voters and their government."

About 30 states already have prohibitions on legislators immediately becoming lobbyists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The periods range from six months to two years after they resign or retire.

"Lobbyists are important to the legislative process because they have a wealth of information on particular issues," Rep. Bosma said. "This legislation will not diminish their importance, but it should enhance the confidence Hoosiers have in how their government operates."