Taxpayers Footing Some of the Lobbying Bill

School districts, cities and counties in Kansas each invested about $250,000 last year in public tax dollars for deployment of registered lobbyists to influence the state’s political process.

The Reflector reports that 63 of the state’s 550 registered lobbyists reported receiving public funding from state agencies, local governments, or associations tied to government activities.

Those lobbyists disclosed that those clients bankrolled by taxpayers paid them nearly $1.3 million in tax dollars during 2019.

The Legislature’s division of post audit says the assessment of lobbying with public funding was “incomplete” due to limitations of state lobbying law, and of requirements to disclose information.

State employees, judicial staff and advisory council members are exempt from registering as lobbyists, even if they are responsible for promoting or opposing legislative action as a part of their job.

Megan Flanders, a senior auditor with Legislative Post Audit, noted that there is no penalty for not filing public funds reports.