COPY-Alabama ranks 14th in former legislators turned lobbyists

MONTGOMERY, Ala. A new national study shows Alabama tying Arizona for the fourteenth highest number of former legislators who have become lobbyists trying to influence their former colleagues.

The study by the Center for Public Integrity in Washington shows that 31 former legislators are registered to lobby the Legislature in 2005. Texas led the study with 70, followed by Florida with 60.According to the study, Virginia had the fewest with six.Half the states had 24 or more former lawmakers registered to lobby state government in 2005.Jim Sumner, executive director of the Alabama Ethics Commission, said ex-legislators turn to lobbying because of the money it pays.A legislator receives about 31-thousand dollars annually in compensation, but a contract lobbyist, who represents several clients, often makes more than 100-grand a year, and some make more.Determining lobbyists' income in Alabama is difficult because unlike many states, Alabama does not require lobbyists to report the salaries or fees they receive.___Information from: The Birmingham News

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