Lobbying groups spent around $35 million to influence Tennessee lawmakers during the first half of 2023
Tennessee’s lobbying sector is doing just fine.
From Jan. 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023, groups spent a combined $35 million on lobbying activity, according to filings released by Tennessee Registry of Election Finance earlier this week.
It’s nearly $4 million more than groups spent during the same period in 2022, and a 66% rise since 2013.
The Tennessee Medical Association led the filing period, having spent around $330,322 to sway lawmakers. Their primary focus this year was a bill to address Tennessee abortion law, which initially didn’t provide doctors with exemptions to save the life of a mother. Republican Lawmakers passed a narrow exemption bill.
Rounding out the top five in lobbying spending were the conservative think-tank Center for Individual Freedom, the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Health Care Association.
Groups lobbying Tennessee lawmakers must file two reports covering each half of the year with registry. Organizations file amounts in ranges for lobbyist compensation, lobbying-related expenses and exact figures for the cost of in-state events.
The Lookout calculates the total spending by taking the middle of these ranges, except for the range classified as “less than $10,000,” where the amount estimated is $1,000.
Corporations and lobbying groups tend to spend more money in the first half of the year because Tennessee’s legislative session is usually held from January to late April or early May. Last year these groups spent over $60 million.