Lobbying costs on track to hit $18.2 million by end of 2014.
Businesses and organizations lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly spent a record $13.6 million during the first eight months of 2014. Compared to the previous record of $13.2 million spent in the same period in 2012, lobbying interests are on track to set a new yearly spending record in Kentucky by topping the 2012 total of $17.8 million.
If, as expected, year-end total spending hits $18.2 million, lobbying spending in Kentucky will have increased by 34 percent in the past 10 years. In 2004, lobbying cost $12.1 million
Most of the top spenders this year were also among 2012's top spending lobbying interests, including Altria, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Hospital Association, AT&T, and Kentucky Medical Association. However, several interests have dropped from the list, while others have spent enough to move into the top rank.
For example, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which in 2012 spent over $500,000 lobbying on issues relating to the sale of pseudophedrine, has cut its lobbying back by 90 percent in 2014; while CSX, Houchens Industries, Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities, AmeriHealth Mercy, Kentucky Retail Federation, Peabody Energy, and Kentucky Optometric Association have also dropped from the list of top spenders.
Moving into the top spending list since 2012 are Kentucky League of Cities, Norton Healthcare, Wellpoint Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Parcel Service, Pew Charitable Trusts, Molina Healthcare, Kentucky Bankers Association, and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners.
There are 646 employers and 550 lobbyists registered with the Legislative Ethics Commission. A listing of registered employers, lobbyists, and lobbying spending is available at the "View Reports" link on the Ethics Commission's website: http://klec.ky.gov/reports/