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Group files language for petition to place new controls on lobbying state elected officials

A liberal advocacy group has taken an early step to put a proposed amendment to the state Constitution on the ballot this year. It would place new controls onlobbying state elected officials.

The proposed amendment is lengthy – eight pages. It includes limits on gifts and meals for state elected officials and senior staffers.

It would require logs of meetings, phone calls and other communications between lobbyists and lawmakers. Also, a two-year period before a legislator could become a paid lobbyist.

Lonnie Scott with Progress Michigan says an amendment like this is long overdue.

“And really putting power back into the hands of the people and not the high-paid lobbyists in Lansing,” he says.

Scott says he expects the proposal will get wide support.

“Because the representatives should be representing their constituents and not those people who are simply buying them the best gifts and sending them on the best trips,” he says.

The eight-page amendment was submitted to the state Bureau of Elections Thursday for preliminary approval. That would clear the way for the petition drive to start gathering signatures.

If it gathers enough names of registered voters, the amendment would go on the ballot.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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