By Laura H. Hendrix, Executive Director, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission
Kentucky businesses and organizations spent $15.2 million on lobbying in the first eight months of 2020, a decrease from the previous even-year’s total of $16.7 million in September 2018.
During the first two-thirds of this year, 709 lobbying employers spent more than $14.7 million, and another $473,071 was spent by 598 legislative agents on lobbying-related expenses.
So far this year, the leading spender is Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which spent $243,950. Second place is Altria Client Services, spending $221,936.
The rest of the top 10 spenders and the amounts spent so far this year include: Juul Labs ($160,969); Kentucky League of Cities ($144,483); Kentucky Hospital Association ($142,247); Marsy’s Law for All ($128,819); Charter Communications ($107,193); Kentucky Justice Association ($105,546); Kentucky Retail Federation ($102,135); and Justice Action Network ($100,502).
The other top 20 spenders were: HCA Healthcare ($95,577); Anthem ($94,192); Humana ($94,058); LG&E and KU Energy ($90,415); Kentucky Medical Association ($85,157); Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($81,799); United Healthcare Services ($81,333); Kentucky Bankers Association ($77,465); American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky ($76,999); and Kentucky Association of Manufacturers ($75,280).
Financial disclosures for candidates and legislators on KLEC site
The Commission has the statutorily required financial disclosures for legislative candidates and legislators available on the Commission’s website at https://klec.ky.gov/Reports/Pages/Legislators-and-Candidates.aspx. The Commission appreciates the legislators’ and candidates’ diligence in promptly filing these disclosures.
3 firms sign to lobby, 17 terminate lobbying registrations
Three businesses recently registered to lobby the Kentucky General Assembly. They are John Hancock Life Insurance Company; Kentucky Medical Freedom Coalition; and McKesson Corporation.
Businesses and organizations which have terminated lobbying registrations and are no longer lobbying in Kentucky are: Acreage Holdings; ActivStyle; Alliance Coal; American Law Institute; Atlantic Bingo Supply Company; Aramark Correctional Services; Benefitfocus.com; Bluegrass Community Foundation; BusPatrol; CareSource Management Services; KY Baptist Convention; KY Jailers Association; KEPRO; NeuroRestorative; Purple Toad Winery; and Recording Industry Association of American.
Ethics Commission elects new Chair and Vice-Chair and welcomes new member
At its August meeting, the 9-member Legislative Ethics Commission elected a new chair, David L. Nicholas, and a new vice-chair, Michael Noftsger.
Mr. Nicholas was appointed to the Commission by the Senate President in October, 2018. He previously served as the Staff Administrator of the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee and worked for the Finance Cabinet.
Mr. Noftsger was appointed to the Commission by the Speaker of the House in November, 2019. He serves as the Executive Vice-President, Bank Administration, for Forcht Bank.
The Commission wishes to thank Judge Anthony Wilhoit and Sheldon Baugh, who are still current Commission members, for their long-time service as Chair and Vice-Chair. Judge Wilhoit served as the previous Commission Chair and as Executive Director of the Commission from 1997 to 2015, and Mr. Baugh served in the General Assembly and as the previous Vice-Chair of the Commission.
Additionally, Judge Tanya Pullin was appointed to the Commission by the Senate President in May 2020. Judge Pullin served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2001 to 2016. She also served as an Administrative Law Judge in the Department of Workers’ Claims. Judge Pullin currently resides in South Shore in Greenup County.