By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio
The amount of money spent on lobbying Kentucky lawmakers has grown significantly in the last 12 years, according to the latest figures released by the state Legislative Ethics Commission.
During this year’s regular session, which ended April 15th, lobbyists and their employers spent more than $8.4 million communicating with lawmakers, the executive branch and staff. Of that, $148,000 was spent on receptions.
In 1998, $8.1 million was spent on lobbying during the entire year. That more than doubled by 2008, when almost $17 million dollars was spent. This year’s lobbying expenditures are on track to go even higher.
During the 2010 regular session, there were 667 lobbyists, or about five lobbyists per Kentucky lawmaker. The national average among state legislatures, according to the Center for Public Integrity, is three lobbyists per lawmaker.