State Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, won approval for a proposal to ban state agencies from hiring lobbyists. Corn’s proposal was an amendment to Senate Bill 454 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Newcastle, to prohibit the use of state funds for lobbying. The measure, as amended, was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
“I want to commend Senator Sykes for filing his bill, and for allowing my amendment to be included. Public funds are supposed to be used by state agencies to provide specific services and programs—not to hire lobbyists,” Corn said.
Corn said his amendment actually strengthened Sykes original legislation.
“State agencies do receive funds beyond those appropriated by the State Legislature. Many collect fees and receive federal funds as well. Again, those are all monies generated by the public, and state agencies shouldn’t be using those other funds for hiring lobbyists.”
The measure would not prohibit agencies from hiring and utilizing legislative liaisons, which Corn said are defined differently in statues than lobbyists.
“Agency liaisons provide a number of valuable services on behalf of the state agencies year-round, in terms of information and constituent issues that require attention not only during the session but in the interim as well.”
SB 454 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.