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.
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