Lobbyists spend record amount in 2014

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KY Capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A battle over beer distribution has helped drive the amount of lawmaker lobbying to a new high.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1BrGCxT) reports lobbyist spent a record amount, about $18.4 million, in 2014.

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Anheuser-Busch increased from the number of its lobbyists in Frankfort from two to 10 last fall in an effort to get its application for a beer distribution license in Owensboro. The application stirred complaints that it could upset the state’s long-held system for alcohol distribution.

Overall, the company spent $160,063 for the year, though most of that was in the final four months. It ranked sixth for spending. Tobacco company Altria Group ranked first, spending $323,097. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ranked second, spending $291,158.

Other big spenders included the Kentucky Hospital Association, AT&T and the Kentucky Medical Association.