HB 168, the beer bill, generated lobbying dollars on both sides.
About $4.2 million was spent on lobbying during the first two months of the 2015 General Assembly. In addition, businesses and organizations spent $574,000 on advertising in support or opposition to legislation pending before the legislature.
Under a law passed by the 2014 General Assembly, this is the first session in which employers are required to report lobbying-related advertising. While spending on lobbying this year is at about the same level as the first two months of the previous 30-day session in 2013, the new advertising reporting requirement provides more information on activities conducted in support of legislative lobbying.
Including spending on advertising, the top spenders for first two months of the session were: Anheuser-Busch Companies ($290,908, including $261,000 on advertising); American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network ($132,453, including $104,000 on advertising); and Kentuckians for Entrepreneurs & Growth (KEG) ($117,085, including $97,500 on advertising).
Other top spenders include: Altria Client Services ($92,199); Kentucky Beer Wholesalers ($75,837, including $50,000 on advertising); AT&T ($68,955, including $23,089 on advertising); Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($64,840, including $4,477 on advertising); Kentucky Hospital Association ($60,842); Kentucky Retail Federation ($58,061, including $26,250 on "patch-through calls" from citizens to the legislative message center); Kentucky Medical Association ($40,196); BSB Coalition ($39,518, including $4,900 on advertising); Kentucky Bankers Association ($36,160); Kentuckians for the Commonwealth ($36,145); Anthem, Inc. ($34,000); Norton Healthcare ($32,500); and Kentucky Justice Association ($32,169).
Other two-month totals include: Kentucky LIFT ($29,620, including $2,618 on advertising); Kentucky League of Cities ($27,947, including $850 on advertising); Century Aluminum ($28,670); CSX ($27,929); Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($27,629); Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($26,606); Kentucky Association of School Administrators ($23,300); Kentucky Association of Manufacturers ($23,210); Baptist Health ($22,899); Molina Healthcare ($22,672);and Humana ($21,648). Hopcat-Lexington LLC, part of a Michigan-based restaurant chain which plans to open in downtown Lexington, registered on February 23, and spent $20,000 in February to lobby on Senate Bill 81.
Editor's Note: For more on the beer bill, HB 168, click on "More"