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Hospitals Lead as Health Care Tops Lobby Spending

In the first four months of 2011, about $7 million was spent lobbying the General Assembly.  $6.5 million was spent by about 660 employers of lobbyists, and $445,000 was spent by lobbyists.  More than $6.1 million of the employers’ total was spent on compensation paid to nearly 630 lobbyists.

 Reports filed by employers and legislative agents are compiled at the Legislative Ethics Commission’s website at: http://klec.ky.gov/reports/employersagents.htm

So far this year, the highest spending industry is the health care sector, which has spent $1.5 million, or about 23% of the total spent by all employers.  Health care spending was led by hospital operators, who spent about $300,000, including Kentucky Hospital Association ($56,000), Norton Healthcare ($44,631), Baptist Healthcare System ($42,800), and St. Elizabeth Healthcare ($28,182). 

The second leading component of health care spending was pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies, which spent about $281,000, including Consumer Healthcare Products Association ($67,333), Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America/PhRMA ($23,362), Amgen ($19,389), Glaxo SmithKline ($18,500), American Pharmacy Cooperative ($18,000), and Pfizer ($15,000).

Other leading spenders on health care lobbying include:  Kentucky Medical Association ($71,415); All Things Good, a Louisville chiropractic business ($65,000); Kentucky Optometric Association ($61,604); and Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians & Surgeons ($26,000).

A separate but often related industry - insurance companies - including health insurance providers, spent $354,000 during the first four months of 2011, with industry spending led by AmeriGroup Corp. ($32,000); Humana ($31,000); WellPoint-Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield ($26,413); Kentucky Association of Health Plans ($24,251); and Nationwide Insurance ($22,430).

Energy and utility interests, including coal and natural gas, spent $516,000.  Leading spenders in the utility sector are:  Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($40,426); and LG&E and KU Energy ($28,534).  Leading spenders in the oil and gas sector are:  Denbury Onshore LLC ($26,999); EQT Corp. ($22,400); Atmos Energy/Western Kentucky Gas ($20,000); and Chesapeake Appalachia ($18,000).  EcoPower Generation, a bioenergy company, spent $30,000; and leading coal industry spenders include Coal Operators & Associates ($24,900); Alpha Natural Resources ($20,300); Peabody Energy ($18,000); Western Kentucky Coal Association ($16,441); and Kentucky Coal Association ($15,850).
Public and private businesses and organizations registered to lobby on education issues spent close to $400,000 in the first four months.  Organizations lobbying on behalf of public schools or employees spent $234,000, led by Kentucky Education Association ($44,680); Kentucky Association of School Administrators ($36,750); Eastern Kentucky University ($20,740); Kentucky Retired Teachers Association ($20,553); and Jefferson County Public Schools ($18,935).
Proprietary schools and companies offering education services spent about $144,000, including Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools ($36,000); National College ($20,250); Education Management Corp. ($20,000); Beckfield College ($15,000); Connections Academy ($12,000); and Wireless Generation ($10,000).  

The financial industry has spent $358,000 so far this year.  This lobbying sector includes banks, financial services companies, and deferred deposit businesses, and was led in spending by Kentucky Bankers Association ($72,320); American International Group (AIG), a financial services and insurance company which is attempting to sell many of its assets following its 2008 “liquidity crisis” and federal bailout ($40,000); Community Financial Services Association of America ($20,000); Kentucky Deferred Deposit Association ($20,000); and Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association ($18,000).

Manufacturers have spent $306,000 on 2011 lobbying, including the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers ($47,723); Toyota ($24,000); Hewlett-Packard ($20,000); Microsoft ($17,000); Rio Tinto Alcan ($16,000); Lifesafer Interlock ($15,000); and Ford Motor Co. ($13,165).

Tobacco interests have spent $303,000 this year, led by Altria ($123,800); Swedish Match North America ($34,650); and National Tobacco Co. ($30,000).

State and local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations spent a total of $271,000, with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($99,479); Greater Louisville, Inc. ($39,939); and Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment ($29,000) spending more than half the total.

The transportation industry, including railroads, road builders, airports, and public transit spent $269,000, including CSX ($55,830); Paducah & Louisville Railway ($16,000); Norfolk Southern ($13,236); Transit Authority of River City ($12,200); Mountain Enterprises ($10,000); and Project Coalition ($10,000).

Local governments and local government officials and employees, including law enforcement and fire protection, spent $241,000, led by Kentucky League of Cities ($37,414); Kentucky Association of Counties ($36,492); Kentucky County Clerks Association ($22,437); Kentucky Jailers Association ($20,028); and Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association ($16,404).      

Horse racing and other gambling interests spent $213,000, led by Keeneland Association ($44,073); Kentucky Downs ($30,000); Churchill Downs ($25,400); and GTECH Corp. ($18,000).

The retail, restaurant, and small business sector spent $181,000, including Kentucky Retail Federation ($52,878); Houchens Industries ($44,000); Yum! Brands ($21,671); National Federation of Independent Business ($18,532); Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association ($18,212); and Kentucky Restaurant Association ($18,000).

The alcoholic beverage industry spent $179,500, led by Buffalo Trace Distillery ($33,000); Kentucky Beer Wholesalers ($24,000); Kentucky Distillers Association ($17,678); Anheuser-Busch ($16,668); Brown-Forman ($15,000); Wine Institute ($15,000); Jim Beam Brands & Maker’s Mark ($14,491); and Kentucky Malt Beverage Council ($13,332).

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