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...

Lobbying spending reaches record high $2.6 million in first half of Kentucky legislative session

Immediately following a year of record lobbying spending, Kentucky businesses and organizations spent an all-time high of $2.6 million on lobbying in the first portion of the 2018 General Assembly session. After spending $20.8 million in 2017, 684 employers and 596 lobbyists started 2018 by spending 20 percent more than they spent in the same period at the beginning of last year’s session. The top...

Ethics Reporter: Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Altria top lobby spenders; commission adds two

More than $14.5 million has been spent on lobbying in the first eight months of 2017, a five percent increase from the $13.7 million spent during the same period in 2015, the most recent year with a 30-day regular session. The number of businesses and organizations employing lobbyists also continues to rise. There are 704 businesses and organizations employing lobbyists, four percent more than this...

Ethics Reporter: Despite short session, total spending on lobbying hit new high at $19.2 million

Special to KyForward The 2015 General Assembly was a “short session” of 30 days, but lobbying spending for the year eclipsed all previous years, reaching a total of $19.2 million. In the largest spending category, $16.6 million was spent last year by employers compensating lobbyists, a 10 percent increase over the $15 million in compensation paid in 2013, the previous odd-numbered year with a 30-day...

Ethics Reporter: Survey shows Kentucky’s ethics, accountability laws among strongest in the nation

Special to KyForward With changes enacted by the 2014 General Assembly, Kentucky has some of the nation’s strongest government ethics and accountability laws, according to a national survey of state laws. Only three states – Alaska, California and Connecticut – received higher grades than Kentucky in the 2015 State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of all 50 state governments...

Ethics Reporter: Nearly $1.8M spent on lobbying in Jan.; record number registered

Special to KyForward   Almost $1.8 million was spent on Kentucky lobbying in the first month of 2015. Although the General Assembly met for only a few days to convene the 2015 session, many employers pay their lobbyists on a monthly basis throughout the year, so spending for those employers is relatively consistent over the 12-month period.   The top spending employers in the first month...

Ethics Reporter: Lobbyists spent record
amount during 2014 General Assembly

Special to KyForward   A record-breaking total of $18.4 million was spent on lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly in 2014, a 3.2 percent increase over the previous spending mark of $17.8 million, set in 2012, and a 34 percent increase in the 10 years since $12.1 million was spent in 2004.   In the largest spending category, $16.8 million was spent last year by employers compensating lobbyists,...

Ethics Reporter: Lobbying spending hits all-time high during first eight months of 2014

Special to KyForward   Businesses and organizations lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly spent a record $13.6 million during the first eight months of 2014. Compared to the previous record of $13.2 million spent in the same period in 2012, lobbying interests are on track to set a new yearly spending record in Kentucky by topping the 2012 total of $17.8 million.   If, as expected, year-end...

Ethics Reporter: Lobbying spending in state continues its upward trend in 2014 session

Special to KyForward   Lobbying spending in Kentucky continued its upward trend in the 2014 General Assembly, although a $470,000 drop-off in spending by 2012’s leading spender made this year’s total ($8.7 million) slightly less than the record set in 2012 ($8.8 million), the last 60-day session.   During the recently-completed session, there were 662 businesses and organizations registered...

Ethics Reporter: 2014 legislation gives Kentucky strongest ethics law in U.S.

Special to KyForward   Legislation adopted in the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly gives Kentucky the strongest and most comprehensive legislative ethics law in the United States.   The new legislation (House Bill 28) includes a “no cup of coffee” provision, a ban on certain in-session campaign contributions, and a ban on interest groups paying for legislators’ travel. (Click here to...

Ethics Reporter: Health care lobbying tops spending list first two months of 2014 session

Special to KyForward   In the first two months of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly, 661 businesses and organizations spent about $4.3 million lobbying the Legislature. The largest spending industry sectors include health care, education, insurance, energy, tobacco, local governments, banking and finance, utilities, and economic development organizations.   Businesses and organizations...

Commentary: Kentucky's new ethics law a roadmap for other states, Congress to follow

By George C. Troutman Special to KyForward     The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly adopted a new law (House Bill 28) strengthening our state’s code of Legislative Ethics for the first time since the Code’s adoption in 1993.   With these improvements, Kentucky solidifies its stature as the state with the most effective and comprehensive legislative ethics law in the nation.   Kentucky’s...

Ethics Reporter: State contracts total $126M; Ky. universities continue privitization trend

Special to KyForward   In the last five months, Kentucky state government gave out $126 million in contracts to pay businesses for handling public services. Also, existing contracts were amended to add $114 million to continue paying for services such as support staff in the state’s correctional facilities, administration of the state’s workers’ compensation program, and management of the...

Ethics Reporter: Changes sought in ethics code; ‘Big Pharma,’ meth problem in spotlight

As part of its annual package of recommendations for changes to Kentucky’s Code of Legislative Ethics, the Legislative Ethics Commission is recommending prohibiting campaign contributions from employers of lobbyists and political action committees to legislative candidates and legislators during the annual regular sessions of the General Assembly.   The proposed change is an expansion of current...