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Lobbying spending in Kentucky dips for 2020 as pandemic hits; KY Chamber of Commerce is top spender

The Kentucky General Assembly

Bulldog Report

Kentucky lobbying spending for 2020, in which a global pandemic hit during the 60-day legislative session, dipped from an all-time yearly high of $23.1 million for the last “long session” of 2018 to $20.9 million in 2020.

A record 733 lobbying businesses and organizations registered to lobby in Kentucky in 2020, spending $20.2 million.

Of that amount, employers reported 35 percent less spending on expenses from 2018 to 2020, going from $992,150 to $639,555. Spending on receptions, meals and events, and advertising also dropped by about a third for the same periods.

In 2020, 607 lobbyists were paid $19 million in compensation, and also incurred $618,620 in expenses. Expenses that lobbyists paid for receptions, meals, and events paid for by lobbyists dropped from $14,908 in 2018 to $5,606 in 2020, also reflecting the social distancing imposed by the pandemic.

2020’s top lobbying spender was Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, with $329,185, representing a relatively small decrease in its spending from 2018 ($352,425), but a cliff dive from 2018’s previous top spender, Altria Client Services, which had shelled out $552,103 to earn the top spot that year.

Altria Client Services, now in the #2 spot, spent $314,627 on lobbying in 2020.

The rest of the top five spenders include: Kentucky Hospital Association ($187,991); Juul Labs ($178,225), which was not registered to lobby until 2019; and Kentucky League of Cities ($164,744) which increased its spending from $136,839 in 2018.

Others in the top 10 were: Kentucky Justice Association ($145,116); Marsy’s Law for All ($141,319); Justice Action Network ($140,502); HCA Healthcare ($140,410); and Kentucky Retail Federation ($130,067).

The rest of the top 20 spenders: Humana ($127,139); Anthem Inc. ($125,692); United Healthcare Services ($121,427); LG&E and KU Energy ($121,165); Charter Communications ($118,943); Home Builders Association of KY ($117,298); CSX Corp. ($114,999); Kentucky Medical Association ($110,562); LifePoint Corporate Services ($110,002); and Kentucky Association of Manufacturers ($106,666).

Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission

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