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Lobbyists spend big in California in the first half of the year

August 03, 2013|By Marc Lifsher
  • A senator checks a tote board in the California Capitol.
A senator checks a tote board in the California Capitol. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO -- Corporations, unions, local governments and other interests spent $137 million to influence legislation and regulation at the California Legislature and state agencies in the first half of this year.

Professional trade and general business groups paid about $6 million to lobby, followed closely by labor unions with $5.7 million.

The healthcare industry spent $4.2 million, local governments $2.1 million and trial attorneys and utilities accounted for $700,000 each.

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All the interest groups lobbied on dozens of bills that affect their members or bottom lines. For example, the petroleum industry managed to defeat, delay or substantially water down more than half a dozen bills that would have banned or limited the use of hydraulic fracturing to access new pockets of hydrocarbons, locked in shale deposits far underground.

Here's a list of the top 20 lobbyists, ranked by spending from the secretary of state:

Western States Petroleum Assn. -- $2.3 million

Californa State Council of Service Employees -- $2.2 million

California Chamber of Commerce -- $1.8 million

California Hospital Assn. -- $1.8 million

Service Employees International Union (United Health Workers) -- $1.7 million

Chevron Corp. -- $1.3 million

California Medical Assn. -- $1.2 million

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan -- $1.2 million

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. -- $1.1 million

AT&T -- $1.1 million

California Teachers Assn. $954,000

California School Employees Assn. -- $921,000

California Manufacturers & Technology Assn. -- $911,000

California Retailers Assn. -- $799,000

California Building Industry Assn. -- $763,000

County of Los Angeles -- $749,000

Consumer Attorneys of California -- $739,000

California State Assn. of Counties -- $731,000

Southern California Edison -- $730,000

League of California Cities -- $715,000

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