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Del. House approves lobbying reform bill

Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- The state House has passed a bill prohibiting former members of the General Assembly from working as lobbyists for one year after leaving office.

The bill was approved on a 30-11 vote Tuesday after lawmakers narrowly defeated an amendment that would have extended the waiting time from one year to two years.

Lawmakers did revise the bill to allow former lawmakers to work as unpaid lobbyists without having to wait a year after leaving office.

Rep. John Kowalko, a Newark Democrat, said his bill is aimed at improving government transparency by stopping the "revolving door" that churns lawmakers into lobbyists.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would take effect in 2015, meaning it would not affect current lawmakers.