Just how much was spent last year lobbying legislators?

The Office of State Ethics reported Wednesday that special interest groups spent $39.7 million in 2012 to lobby state lawmakers.

In total, $51.7 million was spent on lobbying activity in the state, of which nearly three-quarters went to compensate lobbyists. The remainder was spent on TV campaigns, mailings, rallies and other administrative costs. 

The office plans to audit 10 of the 1,077 registered lobbyists this year. In previous years, 40 lobbyists were audited, but budget cuts forced the office to scale the number of audits, said Carol Carson, executive director of the Office of State Ethics.

“Connecticut’s lobbying laws are in place to prevent corruption and provide transparency by showing the citizens of the state who is spending money on lobbying, what issues are being targeted, and how the money is being spent,’ said Carson.  “The audits, which were reduced from 40 per year to 10 because of budget cuts, ensure that reporting is accurate.”

The number one issue lobbied last year: health and hospitals, health care systems medical organizations.

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