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Lobbying spending topped $11 million during Kentucky session

June 8, 2022 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Lobbying groups spent more than $11 million to try to influence legislation during this year’s General Assembly session in Kentucky, according to reports from the Legislative Ethics Branch Commission.

The total beats a record set in 2018, when $10.67 million was spent to influence legislators in Frankfort, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The state’s top lobbying spender this past session was the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which spent almost $184,000 on lobbying for or against more than 70 bills.

The Kentucky Hospital Association spent the second-most, with more than $149,000 spent lobbying. Twenty lobbying groups spent more than $50,000, the newspaper reported.

The Chamber of Commerce is an advocacy group advancing the interests of Kentucky businesses and economic growth. A major chamber priority was a bill that revamped Kentucky tax policy with the target of eventually eliminating the personal income tax. It passed and begins to take effect next year. The chamber also successfully lobbied for a bill to slash unemployment benefits for Kentuckians.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky spent more than $128,000 to lobby the legislature this past session. It took unsuccessful stands against major social conservative priority bills. One bill banned transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports and another would further restrict access to abortion in Kentucky.