MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board today released a review of organizations’ lobbying efforts during the first quarter of the 2009-2010 legislative session. The Board’s analysis shows that 700 lobbying organizations spent $20.8 million and 160,500 hours lobbying during the January-June 2009 reporting period. Spending was $4 million higher and organizations lobbied 20,500 more hours than the first quarter of the 2007-2008 legislative session. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, Altria Client Services Inc., and the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance topped the list of expenditures by lobbying organizations.
As in prior legislative sessions, the most lobbied bill was the state budget. Organizations reported spending 62,750 hours attempting to influence the state budget. Organizations reported lobbying approximately 20,000 more hours on the budget during the first quarter of the 2009-2010 legislative session than in the first quarter of the 2007-2008 session. The next most lobbied bills related to the statewide smoking ban, Senate Bill 181, with 1,200 reported hours, and the appointment of the Natural Resources Secretary, Assembly Bill 138, with 1,100 reported hours.
“Given the tight budget situation, it is not surprising to see more time and resources spent to influence the shaping of the two-year spending plan,” said Kevin J. Kennedy, director and general counsel of the G.A.B.
A complete report on lobbying information for the first six months of the 2009-2010 legislative session can be viewed on the Government Accountability Board’s web site.
“The lobbying database is updated in real-time, and the public can log on and see the updated status of lobbying on bills and issues,” Kennedy said.