Vidak Measure to Help Reduce Growing Number of 'Special' Elections Passes Key Committee

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sacramento – Senator Andy Vidak’s (R-Hanford) Senate Bill 976, which passed a key policy committee Tuesday, would create a two-year lobbying ban for lawmakers who resign their term early.

Since 1990, 58 members of the Legislature have resigned their office in the middle of their term.  While a vast majority of them left to assume other public offices, many have resigned early to take corporate government affairs positions.

“Right now legislators who quit before the end of their term only have to wait one year before they can lobby the Legislature, but that’s not long enough,” said Vidak.  “A one-year lobbying ban serves as an incentive to leave office early for potentially lucrative lobbying jobs, which forces more special elections.”

SB 976 passed out of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee with unanimous support.  The bill will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Special, unplanned elections take money away from local priorities, such as health clinics, public safety and transportation,” said Vidak. “This extended lobbying ban should make leaving office early a lot less enticing.”