SACRAMENTO – The governor has signed into law Assembly Bill 1620, principally coauthored by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), which would further discourage the “revolving door” of legislators leaving office to take jobs as lobbyists.
“Before the passage of this bill, legislators who wanted to take a lucrative position as a lobbyist had an incentive to leave office sooner in order to jump start their one year cooling off period,” said Morrell. “AB 1620 is about protecting the public’s best interest by reducing this incentive.”
Current law prohibits state legislators from lobbying the legislature for one year after leaving office. Morrell authored SB 679 earlier this session, which originally sought to increase that restriction to five years.
AB 1620 is a result of bipartisan discussions to extend these current revolving door restrictions on elected officials who depart from the legislature before the conclusion of their term. Under this bill, the ban would apply to the remainder of the two-year session in which a legislator resigns, at which point the current one-year cooling off period would begin.
AB 1620 required a two-thirds vote and was approved with unanimous support in both houses of the legislature. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.