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GAB: Lobbyists spending 28% less in Wisconsin efforts from 2011

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Lobbyists in Wisconsin spent 28 percent less than two years ago to convince your state legislators to vote their way. 

The state Government Accountability Board said today that lobbyists spent around $17 million in the first half of this year -- and the number of hours they spent on lobbying activities was 25 percent less than in 2011. 

That's considered an apples to apples comparison, because the state budget was being put together during both of those years. 

Recently, we learned that public employee unions were spending much less on lobbying. That's because they lost much of their power in the 2011 law which virtually eliminated collective bargaining for most state and local public unions. 

This year, the new law which makes it easier to open an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin was the Number One issued to be lobbied. 

The state Accountability Board said lobbyists spent almost 3,600 hours on the issue -- or over 27 hours for each legislator.