SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – One lawmaker is trying to put a stop to what he calls the ‘revolving door’ between lawmakers and lobbyists. “I just think it’s inappropriate that you’re here one day serving your constituents and then the next day, you’re able to go work as a lobbyist and use those same connections to change public policy or enact laws,” says Senator Harold Pope, Jr. (D-Albuquerque), sponsor of Senate Bill 34.

SB 34 is looking to create a two-year ‘cooling off period’ for lawmakers; meaning, once they finish their term, they have to wait two years before they can become a lobbyist and accept money as a lobbyist.

Pope says 33 other states already have ‘cooling off periods’ like this. He says lawmakers-turned-lobbyists have access and relationships with other lawmakers that other people wouldn’t. He also says it gives wealthy special interest groups an advantage as well.

“I have no illusions that the two-year cooling off period will totally eliminate special interest influence, but I believe it’s a start,” Pope says.

The Senate Rules Committee passed the bill, but not before making some changes, including widening the scope of who is subject to it and adding statewide office holders and governor appointees.

The bill now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee.