DENVER (AP) — Business interests, associations, nonprofits and other groups spent a record $36.4 million to lobby Colorado lawmakers and government agencies this year.
According to state records analyzed by The Colorado Sun , the money spent in fiscal year 2019 is up 9% from the $33.4 million spent the year before.
Cannabis businesses spent nearly $1.4 million, and oil and gas interests over $1 million. The spending to influence policy in Colorado has steadily increased over the past five years. The 2019 numbers are 22 percent higher than in 2015.
More than 600 firms and individuals representing more than 1,000 clients registered to lobby the Democratic-controlled legislature and state government in fiscal year 2019.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold says the level of spending is concerning because only large organizations can afford lobbyists.