A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lobbying spending for the 2021 General Assembly short session is eclipsed only by 2019 record

The state Legislative Ethics Commission reports that total lobbying spending for the 2021 General Assembly Regular Session, $9 million, nearly matched that of the previous record set for the last 30-day legislative session in 2019, at $9.43 million, despite the continuing effects of the pandemic.

This was the second-highest amount spent during an odd-year session.

605 legislative agents and 745 employers are currently registered to lobby the General Assembly.

The top five lobbying spenders for the 2021 session are: Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($251,738); American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky ($125,155); Kentucky Education Association ($106,622); Kentucky Equine Education Alliance ($101,214); and Keeneland Association ($100,291).

The second half of the top ten spenders includes: Altria Client Services ($96,589); Secure Democracy ($95,240); National Council of State Boards of Nursing ($79,455); Kentucky League of Cities ($79,425); and Anthem Inc. and its Affiliates ($65,000).

The rest of the top 20 spenders are: Kentucky Hospital Association ($62,529); Americans for Prosperity ($56,494); Kentucky Justice Association ($56,494); Greater Louisville, Inc. ($52,070); CSX Corporation ($51,000); LG&E and KU Energy ($50,965); Kentucky Retail Federation ($50,266); Kentucky Association of School Administrators ($48,800); Kentucky Medical Association ($48,602); and Heaven Hill Distilleries($48,000).

Starting in early March, 2021 the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission (KLEC) has made information on which bills legislative lobbying employers are promoting or opposing available to the public, via the LEC’s website. The list is under “Bills Lobbied,” by Current Year or Prior Year.

Newly-registered lobbying employers & terminations

The following businesses and organizations recently registered to lobby in Kentucky: AppHarvest Operations, Inc.; Gibson Electric Membership Corp.; Human Coalition; IBM Corporation; and Wild Health.

Several businesses and organizations terminated their registration, and are no longer registered to lobby the Kentucky General Assembly: Boone County Education Association; City of Corbin; Kentucky Commonwealths Attorney Association; Kentucky Jailers Association; Mackinac Center; National Auto & Travel Organization; PSI Kentucky LLC; Riverside Generating Company; Southern Kentucky Film Commission; and Steve Wilson.

Report deadlines and reporting reminders

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 is the next reporting deadline, and all lobbyists and employers are required to file Updated Registration Statements for the period of May 1 through August 31, 2021.

Reporting entities are required to report the specific bill numbers they are lobbying on, as required by the Legislative Ethics Code.

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