Phelps now lobbies for same groups he legislated as representative
Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) resigned from his legislative post in September, citing health reasons, but then almost immediately registered as a lobbyist, according to Austin Berg, a writer for the Illinois Policy Institute.
"A look at Phelps’ client list shows he’s continuing a tradition of state lawmakers who formulate energy policy while serving in Springfield only to take lobbying work from energy interests upon leaving office," Phelps wrote.
Phelps served as the chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee and vice chair of the House Energy Committee. Both committees regulate policies that Phelps now lobbies for with Ameren and Foresight Energy, according to Berg.
Ameren Illinois supplies power to 1.2 million electric and 800,000 natural gas customers in Central and Southern Illinois.
Foresight Energy LLC operates four coal mines in the same areas.
Ameren groups have contributed close to $85,000 to Phelps’ campaign since 2002, Berg said. Foresight, which has donated $28,500 to Phelps’ campaign since 2010, gave its most recent gift before Phelps’ resignation, Illinois Policy Institute reported.
Also among Phelps’ clients are the University of Illinois, the Illinois State Dental Society, Monsanto Company, the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, the Smoke Free Alternatives Coalition of Illinois and the Vapor Technology Association.