A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

2017 will set a record for lobbying the General Assembly in odd-numbered year, exceeding $20m

Kentucky lobbying spending for 2017 will surpass $20 million, an all-time record for spending on lobbying the General Assembly in an odd-numbered year, when the legislative session is only half as long as in even-numbered years.

This year’s total will easily eclipse the previous odd-year record of $19.3 million spent in 2015. The only other time lobbying spending has exceeded $20 million was in 2016, when $20.8 million was spent by businesses and organizations lobbying the General Assembly.

There are 714 businesses and organizations registered to lobby, and they employ 615 lobbyists. In 2017, those employers will spend an average of $28,000 lobbying in Frankfort.

The vast majority – about 90 percent – of lobbying spending each year is paid as compensation to lobbyists. The other ten percent of spending goes for office rent, compensation to support staff, receptions and other events, and expenses incurred in travel to Frankfort.

In the 25 years since the ethics law was enacted and employers and lobbyists began reporting their spending, $300 million has been spent on legislative lobbying in Kentucky.

Legislative Ethics Commission

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