State and Local Lobbying Goes Up, But Why?

Lobbying at the state and local levels has increased dramatically in recent years — at least in 28 states for which data are available. The Washington Post reports a total of at least $2.2 billion spent in 2013 and 2014, but this “vastly underestimates the total spent.”

State laws and methods of data collection are far from uniform, the Post says, so lobbying totals from states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Illinois aren’t publicly available.

In states where data are available, however, the Post reports that “the trend line soars straight up.” In California, for example, spending increased 36 percent from 2003-2004 to 2013-2014 ($424 million to $579 million). In New York, it grew 65 percent ($264 million to $436 million).

Is D.C. to Blame?

Many attribute this surge to...