Legislative Coverage

Amendment Would Bar Lobbyists from Holding Seat in Legislature

A proposed constitutional amendment would leave one Utah lawmaker without a seat on Capitol Hill. Republican Representative Paul Ray wants to ban lobbyists from serving in the Utah Legislature.

(KCPW News) A proposed constitutional amendment would leave one Utah lawmaker without a seat on Capitol Hill. Republican Representative Paul Ray wants to ban lobbyists from serving in the Utah Legislature.

“This year, I’m not sure of the number, I think we had five registered lobbyists at one point that had filed to run for office. And that’s where I started getting calls saying, hey, there’s all these guys that are registered as lobbyists that are running for office,” said Ray. “Why can a lobbyist become a legislator, but a legislator can’t become a lobbyist for a year?”

Republican Senator Howard Stephenson is the only legislator currently serving that would be affected by the amendment.  He’s a registered lobbyist for the Utah Taxpayers Association.

Ray says if the amendment passes, he would have to make a choice.

“Once you’re that you need to determine if you want to be a member of the legislature or be a lobbyist and make that decision. So it would require a two-thirds vote in both bodies, plus go to the public for a vote for that,” said Ray.

A House committee is holding onto the amendment until the Constitutional Review Commission considers it next week. Senator Stephenson has previously said he only lobbies the executive branch of Utah’s government, not the legislature, so he doesn’t have a conflict of interest.

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