A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KY Legislative Ethics Commission reports lobbying spending at all-time high for odd-year session

Although the General Assembly met for only four days in January to begin the 2019 session, lobbying spending hit $2.2 million and broke the spending record for the first month of an odd-year legislative session.

January’s record lobbying spending comes on the heels of the all-time high $23.1 million spent last year by businesses, organizations, and lobbyists pursuing their interests with the General Assembly.

There are 742 businesses and organizations lobbying the General Assembly, and that is a record number of employers, with 626 lobbyists working for those employers.

This year’s lobbying spending is led by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which spent $40,972 last month, including $5,300 on a Lexington dinner for all legislators. As lobbying priorities, the Chamber’s website cites pension reform, tobacco-free schools, unemployment insurance, and sports wagering.

Altria (Philip Morris) was the second-leading spender at $30,500; followed by Kentucky Hospital Association ($28,483); Kentucky Bankers Association ($21,245); and Greater Louisville, Inc. ($20,785), reporting lobbying on issues including tax, tort, and pension reform.

Other top 10 lobbying spenders are: Johnson & Johnson ($15,750); Kentucky Justice Association ($15,676); Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($14,691); CSX Corporation ($12,985); and Swedish Match North America ($12,718).

The rest of the spending top 20 are: Humana ($12,620); Kentucky League of Cities ($12,560); Fidelity Investments ($12,000); Kentucky Downs LLC ($12,000); Kentucky Medical Association ($11,809); Catholic Conference of Kentucky ($11,607); Kentucky Credit Union League ($11,263); DXC MS ($10,800); Kentucky Equine Education Alliance ($10,566); and Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation ($10,476).

From Legislative Ethics Commission

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