Last summer, I wrote a column about a provision in state law that allows private lobbyists to get state health insurance and retirement benefits. As I explained:
There was not exactly a mad rush by legislators to roll back public benefits for private lobbyists. But there was, on Tuesday, a minor effort to do something about it.
The effort went nowhere, and there’s nothing to suggest that a lot of energy was put into it. But at least it was an effort. Rep. Todd Atwater proposed adding a proviso to the budget to shut private lobbyists out of the state health insurance and pension systems for a year — a year being all you can address in the budget.
As the House Journal explains:
Rep. ATWATER explained the amendment.
This is the routine when legislators want to make a point but know they don’t have a prayer of getting anywhere and are willing not to cause animosity by pushing the issue.
In case you’re really, really into the weeds, here’s the text of Rep. Atwater’s amendment:
/ 105.___(PEBA: Employee Benefits for Employees of Service Organizations and Other Organizations Who are Registered Lobbyists) Funds appropriated or authorized in the current fiscal year for PEBA In Section 105, Part IA of this act may not be used to process, receive, credit or remit any employer or employee: