House Approves Six-Year Lobbying Ban

Mar 10, 2017

The Florida House has passed a six year lobbying ban on former lawmakers. Under current state law, legislators and elected officials can’t lobby their former colleagues for two years. The new plan would extend the waiting period, and block officials from lobbying any state agency.

Rep. Larry Metz (R- Groveland) on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Credit Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/254907

Groveland Republican Larry Metz is sponsoring the bill, which he says isn't aimed at chastising his former colleagues.

"First of all I want to indicate  that my firm grounding in this policy, my support for it, is not based in any belief that any of the former colleagues that I served with who ended up becoming lobbyists did anything wrong. It's not a question of addressing a scandal," Metz said.

He says the ban will help rebuild public trust.

“We’re seeking to end the perception of a revolving door in this city and this state. And by doing so, we’re going to greatly increase public confidence in us and our government processes,” Metz said.

There are concerns the measure violates free speech under the First Amendment. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, if the bill becomes law, it would be the longest such ban in the nation.

The bill would only apply only to those individuals who were in the Legislature or statewide elected officials after November 8, 2016.