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Local governments spending less on lobbying, says new report

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government Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

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

The report shows the expenditures by local governments and their

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associations for lobbyists and lobbying for calendar year 2012. It's 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," Otto said. "This report

covers calendar year 2012, which was a shorter bonding session. Overall

lobbying expenses showed the traditional decrease."

Auditor 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 $7,807,135 on lobbying

activities in 2012. This represents a decrease of $495,675, or 6.0

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 $3,928,419 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 $10,601,645 in 2012 to local

government associations that also represented their interests before

legislative, administrative, or other governmental bodies. These

associations spent $3,878,716 on lobbyists and lobbying in 2012. This

represents a decrease of 9.9 percent from 2011. Of the $3.9 million

spent on lobbyists and lobbying by these associations, $3,509,101 was

funded exclusively through dues. This represents a decrease of 10.5

percent from the $3,922,830 in association dues that were spent on

lobbying activities in 2011.

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

http://www.auditor.state.mn.us/default.aspx?page=20130716.006.

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