Missouri among leaders for lawmakers becoming lobbyists

Monday, February 16, 2009 | 11:49 a.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — Twenty-five Missouri lawmakers have become lobbyists since 2001 — the year before term limits started forcing them out of the state legislature.

A 2005 study by the Center for Public Integrity ranked Missouri fifth in the nation for the number of lobbyists who had served in the legislature.

Under Missouri law, an ex-lawmaker can become a lobbyist immediately after leaving office. But the revolving door has some current lawmakers concerned. They are suggesting a one-year waiting period before a former elected state official can try to influence former colleagues.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 26 states and Congress have some kind of freeze on lobbying. Neighboring Iowa and Kentucky make ex-lawmakers wait for two years.

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