Pennsylvania’s Million Dollar Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Failure

From 1998-2002, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania spent no money on lobbying the federal government (although independent agencies – the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Higher Education Assistance Agency – did). After Gov. Rendell took office, however, lobbyist spending jumped dramatically.

Pennsylvania ranked as the number one state in lobbying spending every year under Rendell, spending over $1 million per year since 2006, and nearly $1.5 million last year, of taxpayer money to lobby the federal government. We are spending five times what Nevada (the number two state) spends. No state has spent more than $400,000 a year on lobbying other than Pennsylvania since 2000.

So why exactly is Rendell spending so much money on lobbying, given our budget crunch? Much of this lobbying is for another federal bailout of the states – including the FMAP extension the state budget is predicated on.  Basically we are using taxpayer dollars to lobby for higher taxes.

How well has this paid off? In a word – FAIL! The Obama Administration is telling governors not to count on getting more federal money.