Lobbyist Fees on the Table

This is one of several stories noting how legislative bodies across the country consider their relationships with lobbyists and lobbying firms.  Gila County, Arizona supervisors recently considered fees.

The county currently spends $89,000 on a state lobbyist and has a $169,000 per year contract with a federal lobbyist.

“I feel like they’ve had little contact and made no reports to the board,” [Chairman Shirley] Dawson said about the federal lobbyist.

Through hiring a county legislative liaison, the county could reduce the federal contract by $40,000 and eliminate the state contract, according to Dawson’s proposal.

The plan to reduce spending on lobbying at the state and county level comes as the federal government gears up for a record stimulus package focused on public works projects and a state budget shortfall that has already prompted the legislature to take money from local governments.

Supervisors said the state’s budget fiasco and the federal government’s proposed spending bonanza makes it critical for the county to increase its lobbying presence at both levels.

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