Local Minnesota governments spent $8M on lobbying in 2013

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Local governments in Minnesota spent more than $8 million in 2013 lobbying the Legislature and other units of government, a 3.3 percent increase over the amount spent the year before, according to a new report.

The 388-page study by the state auditor notes that 84 local governments have designated lobbyists, either staff or contract, who cost the entities about $3.8 million last year, roughly 2 percent less than in 2012.

Minneapolis spent more than any other municipality, nearly $307,000, followed by Hennepin County ($244,543), and the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency ($206,390). (Top 10 below.)

One government entity that doesn't show up in the top 10 in 2013 is the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which was No. 2 on the 2012 list. That panel advocated for a new Vikings stadium, which required a number of government approvals. The Legislature in May 2012 approved a deal that paved the way for the new $1 billion stadium, now under construction in downtown Minneapolis.

The commission was abolished in 2012 and its successor organization, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, charged with the design, construction and operation of the new stadium, was No. 8 on the 2013 list (below).

Local governments also pay fees – about $11 million last year – to lobby groups that work on their behalf, including: Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities ($835,674), League of Minnesota Cities ($628,945) and the Minnesota School Boards Association ($511,404), the report says.

Check out other lobbying reports from past years here.

The biggest spenders on lobbying in 2013:

Minneapolis: $306,953
Hennepin County: $244,543
Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency: $206,390
City of St. Paul: 157,936
Ramsey County: $151,143
Metropolitan Airports Commission: $148,853
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $138,000
St. Louis County: $112,195
Anoka County: $111,544
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority: $108,276
Dakota County: $107,286
Counties Transit Improvement Board: $103,720

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