State spends half a million dollars to lobby lawmakers
LANSING, MI (AP)-- A newspaper's analysis found that $556,000 in taxpayer money was used by state government agencies to lobby the Michigan Legislature in 2012.
The Lansing State Journal reports state officials say the money equates to staff time spent helping to advance the interests of those agencies or the governor.
Republican Governor Rick Snyder's spokesman Kurt Weiss says there's "nothing insidious." He says every administration has a staff to conduct such activities.
The newspaper reports the money spent last year is the highest figure reported since 2001. The money is 1.5 percent of the $36.6 million spent overall on lobbying in Michigan last year.
Over the past 12 years, total reported lobbying expenses from state agencies have been as little as $190,700 in 2003, when Democrat Jennifer Granholm was governor.