A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Legislative Ethics Commission reports lobbyists spent record amount during 2023 General Assembly

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Final figures for the 2023 General Assembly were released on Tuesday by the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, indicating a record amount of money was spent by lobbying interests from January through April of this year.

For the first 4 months of 2023, lobbying interests set a new spending record of $11,417,376, surpassing 2022’s record of $11.131 million for the same time period. The KLEC calls this “significant,” as it was also for a so-called short session year, when lawmakers convene for only 45 days, compared to 60 days in even-numbered years. Advertising spending on legislation of $1,055,098 helped clinch this milestone.

Lobbying interest reach record numbers during the last General Assembly session. (File photo from Kentucky Today)

There were 847 lobbying businesses and organizations registered to lobby in Kentucky. 679 lobbyists were paid $9.5 million in compensation and reported $276,678 in expenses.

The top two overall lobbying spenders maintained their previous standings of last month, with the issue of “Gray Machines” being their focus. KY Merchants and Amusement Coalition, Inc., who support the machines, reported no change from last month, spending $483,324. The second highest spender, at $348,763, Kentuckians Against Illegal Gambling, who were against the machines, expended only $500 additional since last month’s total.

Legislation banning Gray Machines in Kentucky was approved by lawmakers this year.

The third highest spender was the KY Chamber of Commerce at $198,981, with the majority of their expense going to lobbyist compensation ($185,067). Next was the American Civil Liberties Union of KY with $141,004, followed by Pace-O-Matic of KY, a gray machine manufacturer, who spent $110,150.

The rest of the top ten lobbying groups were: KY Medical Association ($98,047), KY Hospital Association ($95,946), Altria Client Services LLC ($94,182), Keeneland Association, Inc. ($87,586), LG&E and KU Energy LLC ($85,161).

Lobbying spending disclosures may be found at klec.ky.gov/Reports/Pages/Employers-and-Legislative-Agents.aspx along with a list of bills lobbied by each employer. A searchable database of all lobbyists and employers, and their spending, is available at apps.klec.ky.gov/searchregister.asp

Related Posts

Leave a Comment