Although the Kentucky General Assembly met for only five days in January, lobbyist spending broke a record for the first month of an odd-year session.
Lobbyists spent $2.1 million in the five days kicking off the session before lawmakers recessed until February. This year’s total is a 14% increase from the $1.8 million spent in the first month of 2015, the previous odd-year session.
According to the Legislative Ethics Commission, January 2017 spending almost reached the total spent in January 2016 when lawmakers were in session for the entire month.
In the first month of the current session, the top spender was the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which paid $41,000 in lobbyist compensation, more than the Chamber has ever paid in one month. The Chamber’s 20 lobbyists worked on five bills, including four that passed in the session’s first week. Among the legislation, were bills making Kentucky a right-to-work state and repealing the state’s prevailing wage law.
Other top lobbyist spenders for the first month of the session include:
Altria (Phillip Morris) $28,122
Marsy's Law for All $24,598
Kentucky Pipes Trade Association $22,216
Kentucky Bankers Association $18,080
Kentucky Hospital Association $17,816