New law to ban all lobbying in former lawmaker’s first year

May 4, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A new Maine law bans future lawmakers from any paid lobbying within their first year out of office.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills recently signed the bill into law.

An Associated Press review found about two dozen Maine lawmakers elected as far back as 1999 have gone on to register as paid lobbyists in the last decade. The AP’s review found roughly half of those lawmakers did so within the same year of leaving office.

A 2013 state law pushed for a one-year “cooling-off” period. But a loophole allows former lawmakers to avoid registering if they lobby below eight hours a month.

The new law closes that loophole. State ethics commissioners had called for the change in 2017.