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Ballot questions target industry lobbyists


New voter-approved state regulations in Colorado and Montana will put an end to the revolving door among politicians and the insurance industries they regulate, said Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice in Austin, Texas.

Colorado's newly approved Amendment 41 requires elected officials to wait at least two years after completing their terms before becoming lobbyists, among other provisions.

In Montana, Initiative 153 also forbids elected officials from becoming lobbyists within two years of leaving office.

"We have seen insurance regulators...(leave) public service, go to work for the insurance industry (and) start lobbying their former regulatory colleagues," said Mr. Birnbaum.

Other industry-related measures decided by voters last week include:

In Florida, 60% of voters, rather than a simple majority, are required approve changes to the state's constitution with approval of Amendment 3.

San Francisco voters approved requiring all employers in the city to provide workers with paid sick days.

In a statewide ballot, California voters nixed a proposal that sought to change funding options for state political campaigns.

In Montana, voters rejected changing the title of state auditor to that of insurance commissioner.

South Dakota voters rejected a measure that would have allowed grand jurors to fine or jail most public office decision makers for breaking rules defined by those grand jurors.

And in Oregon, voters defeated a regulation that would have banned insurance companies from using credit scores to determine premiums.