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Anti-outside lobby bill passes House of Delegates

(Charleston) A bill prohibiting state licensing boards from hiring lobbyists was passed in the House of Delegates on Thursday.

The bill passed 84 to 14. Supporters of the bill say it keeps state licensing boards from using fees collected to hire lobbyists that may take a position opposite from those paying the fees. The bill states that if a state licensing board wants to lobby only a director, board counsel or board member may advocate.

Del. Tom Fast (R- Fayette) sponsors the bill. He said, “We don’t want that mandatory money that’s paid by the citizens and the licensees to have to fund a lobbyist that may be advocating for a position that’s contrary to what the payer stands for.”

Those in opposition say it doesn’t allow state licensing boards to hire “experts” to lobby if needed. The bill will now make its way to the Senate.

Haley Brown

Multimedia Journalist

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