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Local government lobbying costs increased to $8 million in 2013

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators Updated: June 23, 2014 - 11:35 AM

Local government lobbying costs increased to $8 million in 2013, a jump of a little less than $260,000 compared to 2012, according to a new report from the Office of the State Auditor.

The slight increase comes after a dip in local government lobbying. Back in 2012, the State Auditor found that lobbying costs decreased by 6 percent, or nearly $500,000, compared to 2011.

The report tallies up lobbying spending by "cities, counties, school districts, and special districts, directly employed staff and/or contracted with professional lobbyists to represent their interests before the Legislature," according to the office.

The year over year increase follows a pattern of higher spending during budget years, like 2013, compared to years when the Legislature largely focuses on capital borrowing issues, like 2012.

Still, the state mandated report also reflects the longer term trend of increasing lobbying costs. Back in 2003, local governments spent just over $6 million on lobbying, about $2 million less than they spent in 2013.

The 2013 annual report, like previous ones, found that larger local governments spent more on lobbying than smaller ones.

It also found that large lobbying firms made considerable sums lobbying for local governments.

Read the entire report here and all previous years' reports here.

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