The governor signed executive order #2016-05 this week in an effort to protect taxpayers and reduce the influence of special interests at the state capitol.
An analysis by the governor's office identified approximately $1 million in public funds spent on contract lobbyists since fiscal year 2015. Inconsistent reporting practices and lack of accountability may shield more public spending on lobbyists.
Some government entities have used public dollars to protect their own interests at the expense of taxpayers, small business owners and citizens that cannot afford their own lobbyists, according to a statement from Gov. Doug Ducey's office. Under the old system of cronyism, lobbyists get richer, special interests thrive and citizens pay the bills.
Under the new executive order, which takes effect immediately, state contacts with outside lobbyists will be revoked in all agencies and entities that fall under the Department of Administration's authority. A state entity can ask to enter a contract only if able to prove that doing so is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the state as a whole.
The executive order does not apply to the offices of other Arizona elected officials, or to the judicial branch.