Lobbyist spending tops $8.4 million in Kentucky legislature
Kentucky House Democrats condemn Governor Matt Bevin's comments suggesting children were abused because of the teacher rally in Frankfort.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Companies and special interest groups spent $8.4 million trying to influence Kentucky lawmakers this year, the most ever for a legislative session.
The Legislative Ethics Commission says it is the third consecutive year Kentucky has set a record for lobbyist spending. The top three spenders were all focused on one issue: cigarette taxes.
Altria, the parent company for Phillip Morris USA, spent $332,000. That's more than double the amount spent by any other group. The tobacco company objected to a proposal to raise the state's cigarette tax. On the other side, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky combined to spend $270,293 supporting the tax increase.
Lawmakers eventually agreed to a 50-cent increase on cigarettes. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed it, but lawmakers overrode him.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.