A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lobbyists set new record of $11.13 million for money spent in this year’s Kentucky General Assembly

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

After COVID-19 led to a lower spending total for the previous even-year legislative session in 2020, employers and lobbyists spent a record-setting $11,130,780 to lobby the Kentucky General Assembly this year, according to the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission.

The previous record for spending during a legislative session was set in 2018, with $10.67 million spent to influence legislators regarding legislative issues.

Breaking it down another way, if that $11.1 million was divided equally among the 138 legislators, a little more than $80,000 would have been spent on each of them in lobbying efforts.

The top 10 spending organizations for the 2022 regular session were led by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which spent $183,949.
In second place was the Kentucky Hospital Association with $149,046.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky spent $128,258; Altria Client Services LLC (Philip Morris), $126,793; Pace-O-Matic of Kentucky, $106,150; Kentucky League of Cities, Inc., $102,195; Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, $86,168; Greater Louisville, Inc., $82,290; Kentucky Retail Federation, Inc., $82,118; while Anthem Inc. and its affiliates finished 10th at $70,597.

The end of the 2022 legislative session also brought several terminations of lobbying activity reported to the Commission, as well as some new ones.

Terminated employers include: 23andMe; AdventFS; American Kidney Fund, Inc.; Ancestry; Bamboo Health FKA Appriss Health; Broadus Capital; Consumer Energy Alliance; Finseca; Frankfort Independent Schools; Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company; KY Animal Action; National Association of Social Workers KY Chapter; Ovid Ventures; Owl’s Head Alloys, Inc.; Purdue Pharma LP; RB Seelbach LLC; Recording Industry Association of America, Inc.; and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

New employers registering with the Legislative Ethics Commission after the end of the 2022 session were: The Coalition for Genetic Data Protection, Kentucky Hemp Works, and Students for Life Action.

The Kentucky Baptist Convention, of which Kentucky Today is a part, spent $5,500 in lobbying efforts during the 2022 session, which went to lobbyist and former state representative Dwight Butler. His efforts involved lobbying against the passage of House Bill 136, a measure to legalize medical marijuana; as well as HB 606, setting up the framework for legalized sports wagering in Kentucky. Both bills received passage in the House, but no final action was taken in the Senate before the session ended.

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