Through August, the total stands at $16.7 million
By John Schaaf, Executive Director, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission
Kentucky businesses and organizations spent a record $16.7 million on lobbying in the first eight months of 2018, putting the state on track for a year in which lobbying spending will hit an all-time high of more than $22 million.
During the first two-thirds of this year, 742 lobbying employers paid about 600 lobbyists more than $14.5 million, and another $2 million was spent on lobbying-related administrative expenses such as travel and office expenses.
So far this year, the leading spender is Altria (Philip Morris), which spent $464,872, more than twice what the company spent in the same period last year. This year’s total for Altria includes about $380,000 which was spent during the 2018 General Assembly.
The rest of the top 10 spenders and the amounts spent so far this year include: Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($268,734); LG&E and KU Energy ($144,585); Kentucky Hospital Association ($136,851); Anthem Inc. ($125,564); 1-800Contacts ($117,147); Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky ($110,766); Kentucky Retail Federation ($108,599); Kentucky League of Cities ($102,254); and Kentucky Justice Association ($98,630).
Other top spenders were: Kentucky Medical Association ($96,320); Molina Healthcare ($86,650); Humana ($82,666); United Healthcare Services ($82,259); Greater Louisville, Inc. ($80,870); RAI Services Company ($80,355); Kentucky Wired Operations Co. ($80,000); DXC Technology Co. ($80,000); Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($79,595); and Century Aluminum Co. ($75,180).
Four new lobbying companies added while several terminate their registrations
Four businesses recently registered to lobby the Kentucky General Assembly. They are: Amrock, a Detroit-based title insurance business; Caesars Enterprise Services, a Las Vegas-based company lobbying on gaming issues; Republic Bank & Trust Company; and United Rentals.
Businesses and organizations which have terminated lobbying registrations and are no longer lobbying in Kentucky are: Access to Justice Foundation; Adapt Pharma, Inc.; Commonwealth Credit Union; EKU Foundation; Gun Media Holdings, Inc.; Handy Technologies; Indiana/Ky./Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters; Institute for Justice; Jefferson County Attorney; J.G. Wentworth Co.; Kentucky Hotel and Lodging Association; Kentucky Pipe Trades Association; National Association of Social Workers, Kentucky Chapter; PGA of America, Kentucky Section; Physical Therapy and Training Services, Inc.; Teladoc, Inc.; Ten-Ure Organization of State Employees; and Woodford Forward, Inc.
Legislative news from around the country
• Federal prosecutors indicted the representative of a non-profit which allegedly concealed the fact that a Congressional trip to Azerbaijan was funded by the government of Azerbaijan;
• A former Arkansas senator convicted in kickbacks case reports to federal prison to serve an 18-year sentence;
• Another (now former) Arkansas senator is charged with stealing campaign funds, and spending the money on cruises, jewelry and Netflix fees;
• A Michigan lobbyist takes a group of legislators to Hawaii, and says the trip was “tong and hammer”, meaning it was “hard work”;
• Missourians will vote ethics and redistricting reforms in November after the state’s high court refuses to hear challenge to the initiative;
• North Carolina House Speaker’s legal contract with start-up business raises questions; and
• The special prosecutor in the South Carolina legislative corruption probe asked a judge to release a grand jury report “exposing vulnerabilities” in how South Carolina legislators operate, while offering better methods in holding politicians accountable.
Read the EthicsNews from KLEC: EthicsNews