Capitol Alert

California special interests spent $48.5 million to lobby in first quarter

Supporters of Covered California hold signs during a promotional stop on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. Lobbying reports filed this month show that the California Hospital Association lobbied the health exchange during the first three months of 2015.
Supporters of Covered California hold signs during a promotional stop on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. Lobbying reports filed this month show that the California Hospital Association lobbied the health exchange during the first three months of 2015. The Associated Press

Local governments, businesses, unions and other special interests reported spending more than $48.5 million on direct state lobbying expenses from January through March, according to first-quarter reports filed earlier this month.

More than 2,760 lobbyist employers also spent $16.3 million on other payments to influence and $1 million on meals for legislative staff members and other activity expenses from Jan. 1 through March 31.

The California Hospital Association, Western States Petroleum Association, California State Council of Service Employees, California Medical Association, and Los Angeles County reported the most payments to in-house lobbyists and lobbying firms, with first-quarter totals ranging from $331,000 to $487,000.

The hospital association reported lobbying the Brown administration, Office of Statewide Health Planning and the Office of the State Architect on rules regarding hospital seismic safety. It also lobbied Covered California, the state’s healthcare exchange, as well as the Legislature on dozens of bills, according to its filing.

During the first three months of the 2013-2014 legislative session, about 2,700 lobbyist entities reported spending $47.5 million on in-house lobbyists and lobbying firms.

The chart below (or click here) shows the 20 lobbyist employers with the highest totals of in-house and lobbying firm expenses during the first three months of year. Hover over, or tap, the bars for more information.

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