A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ethics Reporter: Spending by lobbyists for businesses, organizations on record-breaking pace

Lobbyists and the businesses and organizations that employ them spent $15 million in the first eight months of 2016, and lobbying spending is on track to eclipse previous Kentucky spending records.

The record for lobbying spending was set last year, when $19.3 million was spent. If spending continues at its current pace, at least $5 million will be spent in the last four months of the year, sending the 2016 total to an all-time high of $20 million.


Since 1994, the first full year of lobbying reporting, Kentucky lobbying spending has tripled from $6.4 million to the 2015 total of $19.3 million. More than 90 percent of spending is compensation paid to lobbyists.

There are 673 businesses and organizations employing lobbyists, but the number of lobbyists has decreased to 563. This continues the trend of employers contracting with one of the many lobbying firms which have opened or expanded in Frankfort, instead of sending their own employees to the State Capitol.

So far this year, the top spenders on legislative lobbying are: Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($208,982); Altria ($197,227); Kentucky Hospital Association ($169,740); Kentucky Retail Federation ($168,065); Kentucky Justice Association ($138,739); Marsy’s Law for All ($126,742); Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation ($109,152);

Norton Healthcare ($108,018); Humana ($99,632); Anthem ($97,000); Kentucky League of Cities ($88,846); Buffalo Trace Distillery ($87,000); Molina Healthcare ($86,733); Hewlett Packard ($86,000); Century Aluminum Co. ($76,738); Kentucky Bankers Association ($76,647); Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($76,201); AT&T ($75,718); Kentucky Medical Association ($70,377); and Ascential Care Partners ($70,000).

Four new organizations register to lobby General Assembly

Businesses and organizations recently registered to lobby the General Assembly are: Kentucky Entrepreneurship Education Network, a publicly and privately-funded organization which runs the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, a summer program for high school students; General Dynamics Information Technology, a Virginia-based company that contracts with federal and state governments; Advantage Medical, which operates the Lee Specialty Clinic in Louisville, providing health care for the intellectually and developmentally disabled population; and PremierTox 2.0, a drug testing business located in Russell Springs.

Employers that terminated registration, and are no longer lobbying are: Ameresco; American National University; Arthritis Foundation; Bluegrass Gaming, LLC; D&S Community Services; eTabs, Inc.; Fiserv Solutions, LLC; Gaming Laboratories International; Elizabeth Goth; Institute for Justice; Kentucky Dermatology Association; Kentucky Orthotics and Prosthetics Association; Kentucky Out of School Alliance; Lexington Center Corporation; Logan Economic Alliance for Development; Magellan Health, Inc.; Rave Mobile Safety; Rural/Metro Southern OH/Mercury Ambulance Service; Service Contract Industry Council; Superior Van and Mobility; Time Warner Cable; and TRT Holdings, Inc.

From Legislative Ethics Commission Communications

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