Closing The “Revolving Door” of Former Legislators Lobbying

Closing The “Revolving Door” of Former Legislators Lobbying

Common Cause New Mexico is working this week to advance this priority bill through its first committee hearing

HB73, “Public Officials as Lobbyists,” co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines and Rep. Joanne Ferrary, is a bill that would require a two-year wait time before former legislators would be permitted to lobby at the State Capitol.

HB73 will be heard this Thursday by the House State Government, Indian and Veterans Affairs Committee at 8:30 a.m. in Room 309 (this is an updated room number).

Common Cause New Mexico recently asked Research & Polling, Inc. to survey 459 randomly selected voters comprised of Democrats, Republicans and Independents to answer questions regarding our priority legislation. The results showed that 87% of registered New Mexico voters want former legislators to wait at least two years after their term ends before becoming paid lobbyists. Support for this measure has increased 5% since 2016 and now shows that three out of four voters want to see this law finally passed!

Acknowledging the relationship advantages that are clearly enabled by prior service to the legislature, the federal government and at least 31 states have enacted a “cooling-off period” before a former legislator can come back to work at the legislature as a lobbyist. In eight of those states, these laws, also known as “revolving door” laws bar former legislators for two years including: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, and New York.

Currently in New Mexico, approximately twenty-six former legislators currently lobby the legislature.

A federal law passed in 2007 already prohibits ex-senators and top executive branch officials from lobbying Congress for two years after their service ends; former representatives must wait one year. 

Your legislators could help improve the public’s confidence in the integrity of our state government by enacting this two-year waiting period this year, so please call them today and ask them to support this bill on Thursday morning!

Here is a link to the list of members of the House State Government, Indian and Veterans Affairs Committee.

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