By John Schaaf, Executive Director, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission
A special election for the office of State Senator, 31st Senatorial District, will be held in all precincts in Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan, and Pike Counties on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
The candidates in the special election are Darrell W. Pugh and Charles “Phillip” Wheeler, Jr., and the candidates’ financial disclosure statements are posted on the Legislative Ethics Commission’s website, as are the newly-filed financial disclosure statements for all members of the 2019 General Assembly. To access those statements, copy and paste this link into a browser:
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).
Lobbying employers which have recently registered to lobby include: Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.; Allstate Insurance Company; Cigna Corporate Services, LLC; Cleanse Clinic Corp.; Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers; CTIA – The Wireless Association; DraftKings, Inc.; Edison Electric Institute; FanDuel, Inc.; Good Food Institute; JACK Ohio LLC; Juul Labs; National Association for Gun Rights; Pain Management Centers of America; Spin; Status Solutions; Susan B. Anthony List; Turo, Inc.; and Wallitsch, James.
Employers which have recently terminated their lobbying registrations include: Ascential Care Partners, LLC; Centerstone; CIOX Health, LLC; Gateway Health Plan of Ohio, Inc.; Goodwill Industries of Kentucky; Innovation Alliance; Polaris Industries, Inc.; Kentucky Film and Digital Entertainment Association; Kentucky Rent-A-Car Association; Kentucky Smart on Crime; Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P.; Pathfinder Capital; and Transparent Business.