The simple answer – unions.
With a little over $9 million total spent on lobbying in the first two months of the 2013 legislative session, the state teachers’ union has spent the most this session to influence Washington state lawmakers.
The Washington Education Association has spent more than $130,000, according to the latest Public Disclosure Commission report. Most of that money has been spent to field a team of lobbyists and for advertisements.
The number two lobbying group is SEIU 775, the Service Employees International Union, representing home care and nursing home workers.
They’re followed by the Washington Health Care Association, Washington State Hospital Association, Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties and Community Health Network of Washington – all with between $80,000 and $95,000 spent on lobbying.
Boeing’s total is almost $70,000. Pemco Financial Services, Washington Federation of State Employees, and Washington State Medical Association round out the top 10.
There are about 800 paid lobbyists in Washington, and 1,250 groups trying to bend lawmakers’ ears. They have a long way to go to match the total amount reported on lobbying in Olympia in 2012, which was just over $55 million.
By LINDA THOMAS