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State lawmakers who left office after the 2018 elections may indeed return to Lansing, as at least half a dozen former representatives and senators have registered as lobbyists or lobbyist agents with the Michigan Secretary of State. Those lawmakers include: Warren Democrat and former Senator Steve Bieda, who now works as director of legislative affairs for the Michigan Department of Treasury; Westland Democrat and former Rep. Robert Kosowski, who is serving as government affairs associate for the Michigan Association of Counties; former Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (D-Lowell), who recently joined Lansing lobbying firm Kelley Cawthorne; Sen. David Knezek, Jr., (D-Dearborn Heights), who serves as director of legislative affairs for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel; former Sen. Geoff Hansen (R-Hart Township), who serves as president of MainStreet Legislative Consulting Services; and former Republican Lt. Governor Brian Calley, who now serves as president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, where he heads up lobbying and communication efforts. In addition, former Democratic lawmaker Virgil Smith, who gave up his state Senate seat in 2016 after initially pleading guilty to multiple criminal charges related to shooting up his ex-wife’s Mercedes Benz, registered as a lobbyist agent in January in connection with his private consulting business. Outside of Michigan, Ian Conyers, who became the youngest state senator in 2016 after filling Smith’s seat, is heading up government affairs for San Francisco-based Eaze, a cannabis delivery platform.


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