August 16, 2011

Lobbying spending declined in 2011 Legislature

School districts and local governments spent 19 percent less on lobbying during the 2011 Legislative session than they did during the 2009 session.

Writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, capital reporter Ed Vogel reported that Clark County and Clark County School District cut back the most with their lobbying expenses, down 29 and 35 percent, respectively, from the 2009 session.

Vogel noted that not all jurisdictions cut back on lobbying expenses. The city of Henderson, for example, increased lobbyist expenditures to $312, 867, an 11 percent increase from the 2009 session.

Other jurisdictions included the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, which spent 10 percent less in 2011, and the cash-strapped City of North Las Vegas, which decreased expenditures by 24 percent.

The Legislative Counsel Bureau also maintains monthly expense reports required by individual lobbyists. According to the LCB's files, 875 registered lobbyists spent over $118,000 "wining and dining" lawmakers during the 2011 session.

Vogel cited the recession and declining tax revenue as reasons for the decrease, but whatever the reasons, it's encouraging to see that, as a whole, public entities spent fewer taxpayer dollars "wining and dining" lawmakers to get more taxpayer dollars.