FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky’s lobbying spending for the first three months of the 2022 session broke the previous record as legislative lobbyists and employers said they spent $8,548,576 to influence policy decisions in the General Assembly, according to the Legislative Ethics Commission.
The previous spending record in the first three months of a session dates back to 2018, when $8.4 million was spent in the even 60-day session. The 2020 session, which was interrupted by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, brought in $7.9 million for the same period, ending March 31.
Intense interest in issues such as biennial budgets of various branches of government, abortion, gambling, tax policy, medical policies, alcohol, unemployment benefits, charter schools, early literacy , school governance, elections and a myriad of other concerns fueled lobbying. activity.
Employers who lobby paid their lobbyists $7,674,454 in salaries for this period, spent $208,866 on advertising for or against the legislation, reported spending $156,860 on receptions, meals and events for lawmakers and the legislative staff, and had $287,681 in lobbying expenses such as direct contact with citizens, education and promotional items, and office expenses.
So far this year, the biggest-spending lobby organization has been the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which has spent $139,508 lobbying on the executive’s biennial budget, school issues, unemployment, literacy childcare, child care support, alcohol and tax policy.
The second biggest spender in the 2022 regular session was the Kentucky Hospital Association, which spent $130,949. They lobbied for bills for emergency medical services, drug databases, abortion, heart attack services and rural hospitals.
The rest of the top 10 lobbying spenders were the American Civil Liberties Union of KY, $115,152; Altria Client Services LLC, $108,655; the League of Kentucky Cities, $87,788; Pace-O-Matic, $78,650; Kentucky Retail Federation, $72,120; Greater Louisville, Inc., $64,711; Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, $60,403; and Federation of Kentucky Farm Bureau $55,544.
All lobbyists and employers are required to file updated registration statements for the period April 1 through April 30, the last month of the legislative session, by May 16, 2022.
In addition to record spending this year, there has been a record level of lobbying of employers registered with the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission.