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Report: Minn. cities spent $7.8 million lobbying at Legislature

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The scrum of lobbyists at the state Capitol last year was thick with representatives from Minnesota cities, counties and school districts chasing state dollars, the Star Tribune reports.

All told, local entities spent $7.8 million lobbying their own state lawmakers in 2012, the newspaper reports. That's a decrease of about 6 percent from the year before, which follows a typical pattern of lobbying expenditure decreases during shorter bonding-session years, state auditor Rebecca Otto said in a statement.

In 2012, 81 local governments employed people on staff or hired outside lobbyists to the tune of about $3.9 million, the Pioneer Press reported. Big lobby groups including the League of Minnesota Cities and the Association of Minnesota Counties spent another $3.9 million.

For a quick comparison, local government entities spent about $2.5 on lobbying last year in Washington state; and $96 million in California.

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