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Mayo spent about two years planning its big legislative request.
State records show that Mayo spent $280,000 on lobbying in 2012, compared with $180,000 the previous year. The 11 registered lobbyists on its roster compare with three that Mayo registered with the state two years earlier.
Even so, many lawmakers were caught off guard when the health care giant rolled out its request in late January.
Last week, Senate Taxes Chair Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbook, said the bill might have gotten a warmer reception if Mayo had looped in lawmakers earlier.
“To be honest, the original proposal hadn’t involved the Legislature as much as it should have,” Skoe said. Even Rochester-area lawmakers said they didn’t find out about the master plan until last fall.
Clarke noted that Mayo’s lobbying budget pales beside other recent high-profile lobbying campaigns. The Minnesota Vikings employed 17 different lobbyists at various points of their decade-long campaign for a new football stadium, and spent more than $4.3 million on lobbying between 2006 and 2012. The Vikings reported spending $610,000 on lobbying in 2012 and $840,000 the year before.
“It is a rather modest group of lobbyists,” said Clarke. “Traditionally, Mayo has one full-time employee devoted to lobbying in Minnesota” along with a few outside contract lobbyists.
In additional to their longtime lobbying firm, Winthrop and Weinstine, they also brought in contractors from Faegre Baker Daniels, North State Advisers and health care consultants Hammes Co.
Jennifer Brooks • 651-925-5049