Initiative to curtail lobbying in the Michigan Legislature allowed to seek signatures

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LANSING (WILX) (2/19/2020) - Activists are a step closer to reforming Michigan's lobbying laws.

On Wednesday, the State Board of Canvassers approved a summary and a petition format to allow Progress Michigan to collect signatures.

It would be an amendment to the Michigan Constitution, banning lobbyists and clients from giving gifts to lawmakers.

It would also close the revolving door, meaning lawmakers would now have to wait two years after leaving office to become lobbyists and also disclose any attempts to influence the Legislature.

"Michigan ranks dead last in ethics and transparency laws, and that is exactly why we brought this ballot initiative forward this year," said Lonnie Scott, the executive director of Progress Michigan. "We think that it is time to take the power away from the high paid corporate lobbyists and put it back into the hands of the people of the state of Michigan."

Progress Michigan says their next steps are seeking volunteers to gather signatures for their ballot proposal. If they collect over 420,000 signatures in time, the amendment could be on the ballot in November.