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Petition approved to ban lawmaker gifts from lobbyists

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 15:53:12-05

LANSING, Mich. — Activists are a step closer to reforming Michigan's lobbying laws.

On Wednesday, the board of canvassers approved a summary along with a petition format to allow Progress Michigan to collect signatures.

It would be an amendment to the state constitution -- banning lobbyists and clients from giving gifts to lawmakers.

It would also close the revolving door, meaning lawmakers would now have to wait two years after leaving office to become lobbyists, and also disclose any attempts to influence the legislature.

Lonnie Scott, the executive director of Progress Michigan, said, "Michigan ranks dead last in ethics and transparency laws, and that is exactly why we brought this ballot initiative forward this year. We think that it is time to take the power away from the high paid corporate lobbyists, and put it back into the hands of the people of the state of Michigan."

Progress Michigan says their next steps are gathering volunteers to gather signatures for their ballot proposal.

If they collect over 420,000 signatures in time, the amendment could be on the ballot for November's presidential election.

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