11:07am

Tue May 31, 2011
All Politics are Local

Hospitals Among State's Top Lobbyists

From Jan. 1 to April 30 of this year, nearly $7 million was spent lobbying Kentucky's lawmakers, according to the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission. In its monthly report, "Ethics Reporter," KLEC reports more than $6.1 million was spent as compensation to 630 lobbyists during the first four months of 2011. Reports filed by employers and legislative agents are compiled at the Legislative Ethics Commission’s website at: http://klec.ky.gov/reports/employersagents.htm.

According to the May KLEC newsletter:

"So far this year, the highest spending industry is the health care sector, which has spent $1.5 million, or about 23 percent 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)."