Lobbyists rack up thousands of hours over state budget, mining billLobbyists spent thousands of hours trying to influence lawmakers on the state budget and the mining bill during the first six months of 2013.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Lobbyists spent thousands of hours trying to influence lawmakers on the state budget and the mining bill during the first six months of 2013.
As is the norm in odd-numbered years in Wisconsin, the budget dominated lobbyists’ attention in the first half of 2013. The Government Accountability Board says lobbyists reported spending nearly 40,816 hours trying to shape the budget, with health services and public instruction the top two lobbying subjects.
As far as other bills go, none attracted nearly as much attention as one aimed at clearing the way for a massive iron mine in Northern Wisconsin. Lobbyists spent nearly 3,578 hours on the mining bill.
To put that in context, the runner-up – a bill that changed the standards doctors use to inform patients of treatment alternatives – didn’t get half as much attention.
The Wisconsin Insurance Alliance reported spending the most money on lobbying, followed by the Wisconsin Hospital Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. The state’s largest teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, used to be a mainstay on the list; coming off a tough two years under Wisconsin’s new collective bargaining law, it didn’t crack the top 10.