Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order Wednesday that ends state contracts with professional lobbyists, ending a long-standing practice of state government entities spending public money on lobbying, according to the governor’s office.

The executive order affects all government-funded contract lobbyists at all state agencies, boards and commissions. Ducey signed the order in an effort to protect taxpayers and reduce special interests at the Capitol, according to his office.

“For too long, too many government entities have used public dollars to protect their own interests at the expense of taxpayers, small business people and regular citizens who can’t afford their own lobbyist. Under this old system of cronyism, lobbyists get richer, special interests thrive and citizens foot the bill,” Ducey said in his statement.

Through the executive order, the Arizona Department of Administration will terminate existing contracts with lobbyists while taking away the state’s ability to spend funds on professional lobbyists.

Now, state entities can only enter contracts with lobbyists if it can prove the contract is in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare of Arizona and taxpayers, according to the governor’s office.