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House Approves Six-Year Lobbying Ban

Florida Memory

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.

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.

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.