Maryland should impose a longer “cooling-off period" before state lawmakers can become lobbyists, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen.
Public Citizen reviewed policies in the federal government and all 50 states that are designed to limit the “revolving door” of politicians leaving office, only to return to the halls of government to lobby for private interests.
Maryland is among 33 states that impose a one-year time limit before former state lawmakers can become lobbyists. Eight states have no restrictions at all.
In a new report for Public Citizen, authors Craig Holman and Caralyn Esser write that politicians-turned-lobbyists “have access to lawmakers that is not available to others, access that can be sold to the highest bidder among industries seeking to lobby.” That means that wealthy special interests can pay to gain access to government in ways “unavailable to the rest of the public,” they wrote.