A new report shows lobbying groups spent $57.5 million dollars during the last two year session of the Legislature trying to influence lawmakers’ decisions.
The report from the state Government Accountability Board shows 743 groups and 685 licensed individual lobbyists registered over 378,000 hours working to influence government action. The most lobbied issues included bills dealing with operating overweight farm machinery on state roads without a permit, approving high capacity wells, changes to worker compensation laws, and nonmetallic mining.
The most active lobbying organization was Wisconsin Property Taxpayers Inc., which spent $1.4 million. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, Wisconsin Counties Association, and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation rounded out the top five.
The GAB report also shows overall spending by lobbyists was down from the 2011-13 legislation session, falling 9.1 percent from $62.8 million. The number of hours spent lobbying lawmakers also fell by 12.8 percent.