Episode 105 Special Episode on Kentucky Legislative Ethics

Record $20.8 M spent lobbying in Kentucky last year

Lobbying spending in Kentucky hit an all-time high in 2016, with $20.8 million paid by businesses, organizations, and lobbyists pursuing their interests with the General Assembly reported the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission in this month’s edition of Ethics Reporter.

Most of the lobbying spending – $18.7 million – was spent last year on lobbyists’ compensation, a 10 percent increase over the $16.8 million in compensation paid in 2014, the previous year with a 60-day legislative session.

Lobbying continues to be a growth industry, as overall spending is up 11 percent from 2014, and compensation has more than tripled over the past 20 years, up from $6 million in 1996. Meanwhile, the number of employers of lobbyists has increased by 35 percent – from 448 in 1996 to 694 businesses and organizations registered today.

This report spurred Laura Cullen Glasscock, Editor and Publisher of The Kentucky Gazette, to sit down with John Schaaf, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission. John has a journalism degree from the University of Kentucky and a J.D. from the University of Louisville School of Law. Before joining the Legislative Ethics Commission John was the general counsel and staff attorney for the Legislative Research Commission.