Del. Hough Sponsors State Lobbying Reform Bill

- ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A local delegate is sponsoring a bill to toughen lobbying laws for Maryland lawmakers and upper-level aides.

Delegate Michael Hough, of Frederick and Washington counties, will introduce the lobbying reform bill.

"You have basically a ruling class in Annapolis of high-ranking elected officials and lobbyists who used to be elected officials or chiefs of staff that are sort of calling the shots down here, and I don't think that's a good way for democracy to work," Hough (R) said.

The bill would extend the time a state lawmaker must wait after leaving office from one to two years before becoming a lobbyist. It also requires upper-level staff to wait one year before working as a lobbyist.

"I have a problem with when you have incredible access to people like the governor or the senate president and immediately leave that position and become a lobbyist," Hough said. "It's like at Wall Street. You shouldn't have inside information."

Hough believes this will help prevent people from using inside information in Annapolis.

"I think people, when they elect us, they expect us to come down here and vote on behalf of our constituents and what's best, and they don't expect us to basically leave the legislature and cash out," Hough said.

Hough says over the last two years several prominent members of the assembly have left office to lobby the state legislature.

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