Report: Spending on Nebraska lobbyists up again in 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A new report says spending on lobbyists in Nebraska increased last year, outpacing inflation and raising concerns about the influence of special interests on state officials. Common Cause Nebraska said Wednesday that 391 lobbyists were paid a combined $17.8 million in 2018. The watchdog group's annual lobbyist spending report says that's a $400,000 increase over the prior year. Common Cause Nebraska Issues Chairman Jack Gould says special interest groups and others are paying lobbyists to gain an advantage in advancing their agendas through the Nebraska Legislature. The top spender on lobbyists last year was Altria Services, the parent company for Phillip Morris and other tobacco companies. Some of those dollars went to political campaigns and parties.