Annual Report Details Lobbyist Compensation and Spending, Legislator Gifts, and More
Lincoln, NE— Nebraska lobbyists hired to influence the decisions of state lawmakers earned a record-breaking compensation of $20,789,181 in 2021, according to a new report released today by Common Cause Nebraska. The report, “The Pay to Play Express: Nebraska’s Runaway Lobbying Train,” used lobbyists’ annual filings to detail the inner workings of the industry and its efforts last year to win favorable outcomes for special interests through gifts, entertainment, and fundraisers.
“Every voter deserves to have a voice in the policy decisions that impact our futures, our families, and our communities,” said Gavin Geis, Common Cause Nebraska Executive Director. “Our report shows how lobbyists’ pay-to-play system is drowning out the voices of everyday Nebraskans. We must stop the runaway lobbying train so the special interests and our elected leaders know our democracy is not for sale.”
Compiled by Jack Gould, Common Cause Nebraska’s Issues Chair, the report identifies the ten companies that spent the most on lobbying in 2021. At the top of the list was the University of Nebraska, spending $180,065. Last year, the university spent $30,685 on entertainment and $19,760 on tickets. The report also breaks down which state legislators accepted tickets and the value of the tickets, even though legislators themselves may have not disclosed the information themselves.
The second-highest spender on lobbying in 2021 was the League of Municipalities, spending $155,064. The third highest spender was the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, spending $151,944. Nebraska is one of 32 states that have no restrictions on lobbyist contributions or fundraisers.
To read the 2021 lobbying report, click here.