State Sen. Debbe Leftwich said she will again file legislation to prohibit elected officials and state employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists, as well as a measure to prevent elected officials from becoming lobbyists at the Capitol for the first two years theyre out of office.
We need to be aware of any practices that give even the appearance of impropriety. The public needs to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their legislators are acting with their best interest at heartnot the lobbyist who bought them tickets to a concert or professional basketball game, said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City.
While the State Ethics Commission is set to vote on a gift-giving ban this coming Friday, Leftwich said she still intends to file her legislation again.
I applaud the Commission and encourage them to support this proposed rule. Enacting such a ban in the statutes would make that prohibition even stronger, Leftwich said.
Leftwich said she would also push for a bill to prohibit any former lawmaker or other elected official from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving officea measure she says is also aimed at improving public confidence in government.
Elected officials cant leave office and then take a job that is funded with state tax dollars for two years, Leftwich said. But right now, that same official can leave in November and be right back when the session begins a few weeks later lobbying their former colleagues. That practice feeds the perception that elected officials are out to take care of themselves instead of the citizens.