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Auditor’s office says local lobbying is down

State Auditor Rebecca Otto has released the 2012 Local Government Lobbying Services Report.

It is a comprehensive report which shows the expenditures by local governments and their associations for lobbyists and lobbying for calendar year 2012.

The report is intended to inform Minnesota citizens and policymakers on the amount spent by their local governments on lobbying services.

“There is a traditional pattern of lobbying expenses being higher during the longer legislative budget session and lower during the shorter bonding session,” State Auditor Otto said.  “This report covers calendar year 2012, which was a shorter bonding session.  Overall lobbying expenses showed the traditional decrease.”

Otto added, “One interesting trend of note is that between 2008 and 2012, expenses for lobbying services by associations have been decreasing.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Local governments spent a total of about $7.8 million on lobbying activities in 2012.  This represents a decrease of about $496,000, or 6 percent, from the amount spent on lobbying services in 2011.
  • Eighty-one local governments (one less than in 2011) reported that they directly employed staff or hired contract lobbyists in 2012.

These local governments spent a total of about $3.9 million on staff and contract lobbyists.

This was $67,539, or 1.7 percent, less than in 2011.

  • In addition to the $3.9 million paid directly to staff and contract lobbyists, local governments paid dues of $10.6 million in 2012 to local government associations that also represented their interests before legislative, administrative, or other governmental bodies.

These associations spent $3.9 million on lobbyists and lobbying in 201 —a decrease of about 10 percent from 2011.

To view the complete report, which includes tables and graphs, go to: