Although the General Assembly was in session for just 20 days, $4.6 million was spent on lobbying in the first two months of the 2017 short session. Once again, the top spending lobbying organization was the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which spent $88,090, 19 percent more than the Chamber spent in the same period in last year’s long session. In the most recent reporting period, the Chamber reported it produced advertising in support of charter school legislation and medical review panels.
The second-leading spender is a new lobbying organization, U.S. Justice Action Network, which has spent $62,958, including $40,000 on polling. U.S. Justice Action Network supports legislation to “reduce the exploding prison population and astronomical costs to taxpayers.”
Altria is the next highest spender, spending $57,386 on tobacco-related issues including a resolution urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its proposed standard for a nicotine-related substance in smokeless tobacco products; followed by Marsy’s Law for All which has spent $56,968, including $40,000 on advertising in support of a proposed constitutional amendment to create a crime victims’ bill of rights.
Other top lobbying spenders include: Kentucky Hospital Association ($49,788); Kentucky Justice Association ($37,855); Kentucky League of Cities ($36,392); Kentucky Bankers Association ($36,160); Anthem Inc. ($34,000); Greater Louisville, Inc. ($32,029); Kentucky Medical Association ($31,058); Kentucky Retail Federation ($29,685); Norton Healthcare ($29,575); AT&T ($28,613); Humana ($26,893); Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($25,911); Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities ($24,199); Kentucky Association of Realtors ($24,180); Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($23,937); Kentucky Pipe Trades Association ($22,216); Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation ($21,863); Kentucky Education Association ($21,732); National Heritage Academics ($21,685); Molina Healthcare ($21,600); Hewlett Packard ($20,000).