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Oklahoma: legislature bans lobbyist contributions during legislative session

AP reports: The Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval on May 22 to a bill banning political contributions from lobbyists to legislators during and immediately after legislative sessions. The prohibition would apply to legislative incumbents and challengers alike.

Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, introduced the measure, H.B. 2704, which passed the House, 90-6. The Senate later approved it, 47-0. Gov. Brad Henry is expected to sign it.

This is a giant step forward for clean and open government, Dank said. It puts some important distance between giving money and passing legislation. We have succeeded in separating the lawmaking process from campaign cash.

He said it would stop the practice of lobbyists handing out $5,000 checks on Monday before action on legislation in which they are interested on Tuesday. Under the measure, lawmakers could not accept campaign cash from lobbyists or the companies or organizations they work for from the beginning of the legislative session until five days after adjournment. -- firstamendmentcenter.org: news

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