State Representative Steve Drazkowski wants Minnesota law to prohibit legislators from accepting money from any group or agency that they make budget decisions about. The Republican from Mazeppa notes that restriction already applies to local elected officials. “I will be working on a bill if I’m sent back [to the legislature] next session to apply that same thing in law to state elected officials,” he says.
It’s prompted by Democratic State Representative Ilhan Omar (IL-han OH-mar), who’s running for U-S House, receiving 25-hundred dollars for speaking at two community colleges last year. Omar says she didn’t realize House rules applied to engagements scheduled before a member is elected to office, and says she’ll return the money to the institutions through their scholarship funds.
Rep. Omar’s complete written statement:
“A number of speaking engagements, including these, were scheduled and confirmed prior to my election, swearing-in, and instruction on Minnesota House rules. In the transition, we didn’t realize that we would need to look back and apply these rules to previously confirmed engagements. It’s regrettable that Rep. Drazkowski didn’t approach me directly with his concern so I could address this oversight. To address this concern, these honoraria will be returned to the institutions through their scholarship funds as soon as possible.”
More in this interview with Rep. Drazkowski: