The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board released their report of 2011 lobbying activity today. In 2011, a total of $59.4 million was spent by various groups lobbying the State Legislature on behalf of their interests. That figure is in line with previous years — since 2005, lobbying spending has ranged between $54 and $62 million dollars.
For the fourth year in a row, Xcel Energy Services ($2.36 million) and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce ($2.06 million) are the top two lobbying spenders.
Of the top 25 lobbying spenders in 2011, 12 of the 25 are businesses or business associations, reflecting over $10 million in lobbying expense. Labor interests hold five of the top 25 positions, spending $2.59 million. Education Minnesota’s $500,000 in lobbying spending represented its lowest outlay in seven years and ranked it 13th on the list. The AFL-CIO was the highest-spending labor group, spending $820,000, tying for fifth place on the list.
Government associations represented three positions on the list, totaling just over $2 million in lobbying expense. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities was the largest spender of these groups, also spending $820,000 in 2011. Native American tribal interests also had three positions on the list, led by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and their $550,000 in lobbying expenses.