$8.6 million spent on lobbying, with State Chamber leading the way

John Schaaf


By John Schaaf,  executive director, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission

Kentucky Chamber is top lobbying spender, by far

More than $8.6 million was spent on lobbying in the first four months of 2017, including a 30-day legislative session. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spent $158,306, which is six percent more than the Chamber has ever spent in a comparable period, including in even-numbered years with 60-day sessions.

Altria (Philip Morris) is the second-leading spender to this point, at $112,722. U.S. Justice Action Network ($110,604) and Marsy’s Law for All ($93,468) are new to the top five spending list, while the rest of the top ten consists of familiar names, including Kentucky Hospital Association ($81,758); Kentucky League of Cities ($74,012); Kentucky Bankers Association ($72,217); Kentucky Justice Association ($69,289); Anthem Inc. ($63,000); and Greater Louisville, Inc. ($54,384).

Other top spending businesses and organizations include: CSX Corporation ($54,317); Kentucky Medical Association ($52,277); Humana ($52,103); Kentucky Retail Federation ($50,718); Norton Healthcare ($46,783); AT&T ($46,452); Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($45,792); Molina Healthcare, Inc. ($43,200); Kentucky Association of Realtors ($41,707); Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation ($40,588); Century Aluminum Company ($40,052); and Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($40,012).

Ethics Commission gets three appointments

Legislative leaders recently made three appointments to terms on the nine-member Legislative Ethics Commission.

Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Jeff Hoover agreed to appoint Tony Goetz to the Commission. Mr. Goetz is a native of Daviess County and worked more than 20 years for the University of Kentucky, including as UK’s Director of Government Relations.

President Stivers also reappointed former Representative Pat Freibert of Lexington, and former Senator and Circuit Judge Tom Jensen of London to four-year terms on the Commission. There is one vacancy on the Commission.

With the close of the 2017 General Assembly, several businesses and organizations terminated their lobbying registration in Kentucky, and a few more registered to begin lobbying.

Turnover in the lobbying community after the 2017 General Assembly

Six organizations registered to lobby after the session ended last month, and the most recent registrant is DaVita Inc., a Denver-based Fortune 500 company that operates or provides administrative services at 2,382 outpatient kidney dialysis centers in the United States.

In addition to the 13 businesses or organizations that terminated lobbying activities last month, four more have terminated: Appian; Center for Education Reform; National Council of State Boards of Nursing; and Partnership for New American Economy Action Fund.

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