Revolving Door

In 2008, Governor Heineman and Senator Bill Avery supported imposing a two-year waiting period before former elected officials could become lobbyists. While that plan never came to pass, Common Cause Nebraska continues to encourage the state's legislators to limit the practice.

What's the problem? These lobbyists are well-known to their former colleagues and their experience and knowledge of the process makes them more influential than the average constituent or citizen lobbyist. Acknowledging the advantages provided by prior service in the legislature, the federal government and 28 other states provide for some gap between when a lawmaker leaves the legislature and when he or she can lobby former colleagues. In some states the cooling off period is two years, in others it is one. Further, some states allow lobbying during that time period for non-profit causes. Whatever form it takes, it's time deal with the revolving door in Nebraska.

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