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Politics & Government

Proposal Seeks to Slow the 'Revolving Door' in Harrisburg

Ethics policies, lobbying rules and conflict of interest laws are the subject of proposals getting a hearing before a state House Committee.

A small, bipartisan group of lawmakers are supporting a proposal to double the number of years distancing a former public official or state employee from a job lobbying his or her old stomping grounds.

Right now, would-be lobbyists must wait a year after they leave government.

A plan from Democratic Rep. Frank Burns of Cambria County says increasing it to two years makes it less likely state lawmakers in particular will come back to lobby familiar faces.

He says the proposal would minimize what he calls “the revolving door aspect often cited in ethics discussions.”

The vast majority of states have a one-year or less policy.

The House State Government Committee will consider the proposal at an upcoming hearing.

Other proposals under consideration include a temporary ban on state contracts for former statewide officials and a prohibition against public officials and candidates from accepting most gifts.