Missourinet: Missouri Senate considers if ex-office holders should cool off before lobbying careers begin

The state senate is considering if legislators and statewide elected officials should be allowed to become lobbyists immediately after leaving office or if they should be required to wait for a designated period.

Senator Jill Schupp (D- Creve Coeur) supports a cooling off period.

emery and schupp

Senators Ed Emery and Jill Schupp

“I do think that putting distance between yourself and the people with whom you just finished serving is important,” said Schupp.

Senator Rob Schaaf (R- St. Joseph) thinks there should be a cooling off period.

“What we’re trying to do here is change the system so that good people don’t do things, even on a subconscious level, that advantage special interests against the public policy,” said Schaaf.

Senator Ed Emery (R- Lamar) said as long as legislators and elected officials wait until after their term expires, then it’s their choice.

“The process is certainly faulty,” said Emery. “It has created crevices where weaknesses can be exploited, but the process isn’t corrupt. The process is what the process is.”

Emery said becoming a lobbyist is an individual liberty and an economic freedom.

“The idea of those of us in government regulating the choices of the people and in turn violating individual opportunities, I’m just not ready to go there.”

The bill also includes former office holders that require senate confirmation.

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