Nebraska Lobbyists Set Another Spending Record

$17.5 million investment represents a 26 percent jump in five years.

Common Cause Nebraska has released its annual report on lobbying in the Cornhusker State, and as usual special interests have set a new record for spending to influence state government.

The study by Jack Gould, Common Cause Nebraska’s issues chair, found that 377 paid lobbyists worked in and around the state capitol last month and that the interests behind them spent nearly $17.5 million. That’s an increase of more than 26 percent in just five years.

“While the Governor is slashing agency budgets and legislative salaries remain frozen at $12,000, the lobby continues to make big bucks. When legislators see lobbying firms grossing as much as $1.5 million it is difficult to blame them for pushing through the revolving door when their terms are up,” Gould wrote.

The report found that the leading special interest spender in 2017 was the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, which invested $242,198 in attempts to influence lawmakers. Local governments across the state also put big money – about $402,000 – into lobbying state leaders; the localities have spent nearly $2.4 million over the past five years.