2011 Legislative Preview: HB 1022

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Bill Name: AN ACT TO AMEND ARKANSAS LAW CONCERNING LOBBYIST REGISTRATION BY A FORMER MEMBER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Sponsors: Eddie Cheatham (D-9), 870-364-5659, eddie.cheatham@arkansashouse.org

Purpose: To amend Arkansas Code Annotated § 21-1-402(f) so that a former member of the General Assembly cannot register as a lobbyist for two years following the expiration of his/her term.

Pros for Average Arkansans: Fairness and increased trust.  Lobbying and lobbyists are a fact of political life, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Where it becomes problematic, or where it can at least appear to be less-than-honest, is when someone is a lawmaker on December 31 and a lobbyist on January 2.  The added pressures and influence that such a lobbyist can bring to bear on his former colleagues changes the normal lobbyist-legislator dynamic to an alarming degree.  This bill is actually a stronger version of a one-year provision from an ethics package that failed in the Senate in 2009.

Cons for Average Arkansans: None.

Official BHR Position: Strongly support