The Arkansas Senate passed a bill that would ban state legislators from serving as lobbyists while in public office. While it is already illegal in Arkansas for legislators to serve as registered lobbyists while in office, the measure would take this ban further by banning lobbying outside of Arkansas as well.
Ethics have been a focus of the 2019 legislative session, following a string of corruption scandals surrounding Arkansas lawmakers. This bill is one of six measures that are aimed at tackling ethics reform.
As outlined by UALR Public Radio, Arkansans can expect to see:
- A bill that would ban elected officials from working as registered lobbyists
- A bill that increases the penalty for candidates using campaign funds as personal income
- A bill that prohibits elected officials from having multiple PACS
- A bill that will prohibit contributions from PAC to PAC
- A bill that strips the retirement benefits from any elected official convicted of a felony “as long as that felony’s in conjunction with their duties as an elected official”
- A bill that increases the maximum fine capability for the Arkansas Ethics Commission
Senate President Pro Tem Jim Hendren stated that this is a bipartisan measure amongst Arkansas state legislators.