Another effect from 2020 — Lobbying expenses dipped more than $3 million compared to 2018


Laura H. Hendrix

Kentucky lobbying spending for 2020, in which a global pandemic hit during the 60-day legislative session, dipped from an all-time yearly high of $23.1 million for the last “long session” of 2018 to $20.9 million in 2020.

A record 733 lobbying businesses and organizations registered to lobby in Kentucky in 2020, spending $20.2 million.  Of that amount, employers reported 35% less spending on expenses from 2018 to 2020, going from $992,150 to $639,555.  Spending on receptions, meals and events, and advertising also dropped by about a third for the same periods.

In 2020, 607 lobbyists were paid $19 million in compensation, and also incurred $618,620 in expenses. Expenses that lobbyists paid for receptions, meals, and events paid for by lobbyists dropped from $14,908 in 2018 to $5,606 in 2020, also reflecting the social distancing imposed by the pandemic.

2020’s top lobbying spender was Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, with $329,185, representing a relatively small decrease in its spending from 2018 ($352,425), but a cliff dive from 2018’s previous top spender, Altria Client Services, which had shelled out $552,103 to earn the top spot that year.  Altria Client Services, now in the #2 spot, spent $314,627 on lobbying in 2020.

The rest of the top five spenders include: Kentucky Hospital Association ($187,991); Juul Labs ($178,225), which was not registered to lobby until 2019; and Kentucky League of Cities ($164,744) which increased its spending from $136,839 in 2018.

Others in the top 10 were: Kentucky Justice Association ($145,116); Marsy’s Law for All ($141,319); Justice Action Network ($140,502); HCA Healthcare ($140,410); and Kentucky Retail Federation ($130,067).

The rest of the top 20 spenders: Humana ($127,139); Anthem Inc. ($125,692); United Healthcare Services ($121,427); LG&E and KU Energy ($121,165); Charter Communications ($118,943); Home Builders Association of KY ($117,298); CSX Corp. ($114,999); Kentucky Medical Association ($110,562); LifePoint Corporate Services ($110,002); and Kentucky Association of Manufacturers ($106,666).

The following businesses and organizations recently registered to lobby in Kentucky: Ainsworth Game Technology; AirBnb; Association of periOperative Registered Nurses; Ban Conversion Therapy KY; Beyond Type 1; Commonwealth Alliance Voter Engagement; Commonwealth Policy Center; Davis Fitness Development; DraftKings; Fletcher Group; Impetus; Indiana/KY/Ohio Concrete Pipe Association; Interactive Education Concepts; Jackson BioEnergy; John Wiley & Sons; KY Center for Economic Policy; KY Competes; KY Hemp Association; KY Science Center; Philips North America; Riverside Generating Company (LS Power); Stronach Group (The); TC Energy; and Zalla Family Enterprises.

Several businesses and organizations terminated their registration, and are no longer lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly: 1800Contacts; Animal Policy Group; Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids; Corizon Health; First Southern Funding; Parity For Pumps; Passport Health Plan; Pet Food Institute; Ranzetta, Tim; Rhino Resource Partners; U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; and Universal Guaranty Life Insurance Company.

Legislator, major management personnel, and lobbying report deadlines

Members of the General Assembly and major management personnel within the legislative branch are required to file their annual financial disclosure statements by Tuesday, February 16, 2021, due to the February 15 legislative holiday for President’s Day.  The statements are for the 2020 calendar year.

Also, by Monday, February 15, 2021 all lobbyists and employers are required to file Updated Registration Statements for the period of January 1 through January 31, 2021.

The easiest and quickest way for lobbyists and employers to file is to visit the Commission’s website and click “file forms online.”

Training for Lobbyists and Employers on video

The Legislative Ethics Commission has a training video from one of our in-person lobbyist and employer trainings on the LRC Capitol Connection YouTube page, for viewing at any time. The link is on our website, and also on the LRC Capitol Connection page at  The video walks through the online filing process in step-by-step detail.  Please call us with any questions!

Overview of Legislative Ethics Code online

The Legislative Ethics Commission has a PowerPoint overview of the Legislative Ethics Code available for reference. The link is on our website, and also on the LRC Capitol Connection page at  Feel free to watch!

Commission Office Procedures and COVID-19

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and following guidance from federal, state, and local officials, the Commission halted in-person services at its Frankfort office as of Tuesday, March 17. Email notifications were made to legislators and staff, as well as lobbyists, and employers, and a notice was placed on the Commission’s website and office door.

Legislators, staff, lobbyists, employers, and the public may continue to contact the office by phone at (502) 573-2863, by fax at (502) 573-2929, and via the email addresses listed on the staff page:

Additionally, new lines for direct access to Commission staff have been added. You may reach Laura Hendrix, Executive Director, at (502) 573-2910, and Emily Dennis, Counsel, at (502) 573-2911. You may still reach Donnita Crittenden and Lori Smither at the main Commission number, (502) 573-2863.

If you need to send the Commission copies of paperwork, please scan and email it to the email addresses as listed on the staff page, or fax to the number above.

Continued thanks to the many lobbying entities who have honored our request to begin filing online, and those who have utilized this service for many years. If a lobbyist or employer is currently filing disclosures by paper and would like to file online, please email us and we can contact you with an ID and password.

If an entity needs to register as a lobbyist or employer, please email the required scanned paperwork to Donnita Crittenden or Lori Smither at the staff emails in the link above or fax them to (502) 573-2929. Blank forms may be found at

All provisions of the Code of Legislative Ethics are in force during this time. If there is a need for an opinion about the application of the Code to any particular ethical issue that may arise, please continue to contact us and we will answer your questions.

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