Pellicciotti sponsors bill to enact “cooling off” period from lobbying

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:19am
  • News
Pellicciotti sponsors bill to enact “cooling off” period from lobbying

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, state Sen. Reuven Carlyle and Rep. Mike Pellicciotti (D-Federal Way) – on the House side – recently reintroduced their government ethics proposal to establish a one-year lobbying prohibition for former high-ranking state officials. The legislation also requires disclosure of where former officials are employed after state service, if they are paid by an entity that does business with or lobbies the state.

Under current law, many state officials and employees can leave a state job and start work the following day as a lobbyist paid to influence former colleagues.

In 2015, Washington received a D+ for government accountability from the Center for Public Integrity on its scorecard assessing rules governing disclosure, accountability and influence peddling. While Washington ranked better than most states (coming in eighth overall), a key factor in Washington’s low grade is the lack of a “cooling off” period before public officials can lobby their former co-workers. The Center described this revolving door as a “big ethical loophole” in Washington.

“I continue to believe it is unacceptable for a government official to conclude their public service on Friday and begin paid corporate lobbying on Monday,” said Carlyle. “I’m committed to partnering with Attorney General Ferguson and Rep. Pellicciotti until this important ethics improvement is the law of the land.”

Pellicciotti sponsors House bill 1159, which would establish a one-year “cooling off” period for elected officials, agency heads and senior staff as follows:

Category A

Officials covered: statewide elected officials, state legislators, heads of executive cabinet agencies, and chiefs of staff or top administrators and other senior executive staff of such agencies and offices.

May not: Serve as a paid lobbyist for others, be paid to attempt to influence state action by a state agency.

Category B

Officials covered: Heads of agencies not covered in Category A, and chiefs of staff or top administrators and other senior executive staff of such agencies and offices.

May not: Serve as a paid lobbyist for others regarding the former employer agency’s matters, be paid to attempt to influence state action by the former employing agency.

The bill also requires disclosure from former elected officials, agency heads and senior-level staff when leaving state service if he or she receives compensation from an entity that does business with or lobbies the state.

“I have heard from countless members of my district that they want a new way of doing business in Olympia,” Pellicciotti said. “This bill is a common-sense way to instill more public confidence in government.”

“We hold very high ethical standards in Washington, but in this area we are failing,” said Sen. Mark Miloscia (R–Federal Way), chair of the Senate State Government Committee. “Changing this rule will help ensure our state leaders are focused on public service, not using positions of influence as a stepping stone to a payday.”

The federal government and at least 31 states require a “cooling off” period to slow the revolving door between the public and private sectors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As far back as 1872, Congress enacted laws restricting former public officials and employees from lobbying.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Police tape. File photo
Auburn man charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Federal Way girl

The man, who is related to the girl’s father, faces charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for April 25 shooting.

Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision’s president and CEO. Photo courtesy of World Vision
World Vision to launch largest capital campaign ever to assist millions of people amid pandemic

Every Last One aims to raise $1 billion to offer 60 million people relief from extreme poverty.

A man walks past an emergency location mile marker along the BPA Trail at dusk on May 11. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Mile markers repainted along BPA Trail for emergency purposes

Markers located every 1/10th of a mile along the 3.6-mile trail.

Executive Director Amanda Miller outside of the South King Tool Library (1700 S. 340th St. in Federal Way). Courtesy photo
South King Tool Library wins Green Globe award for waste reduction

In areas such as Federal Way, waste reduction becomes a conversation about equity, says tool library executive director.

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Clockwise from top left: Alisha Saucedo, Cheryl Aguilar Henriquez, Luis Carrera-Lara, Milagros Gonzalez, and Immanuel Lee. Photos courtesy of FWPS
5 FWPS seniors named Act Six Scholars

Partner colleges to provide full-tuition, full-need scholarships over four years.

File photo
Shoplifter threatens to pepper spray employee | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log May 5-11.

Photo courtesy of Vickie Chynoweth
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: fresh hummus, pita bread for snacking

This week’s recipe highlights locally-sourced hummus, olive oil and pita bread found at the Saturday market.

Most Read