Auditor Blaha Releases 2021 Local Government Lobbying Services Report - July 14, 2022

Contact: Donald McFarland | 651-236-0494

Saint Paul, MN – Earlier today, State Auditor Blaha released the 2021 Local Government Lobbying Services Report. “Local governments and their associations spent $9.8 million in 2021 to have a presence at the state legislature,” said Auditor Blaha. “This year’s numbers and trends are similar to those of recent years.”

“Because municipalities need legislative approval for much of their authority and receive significant funding from the state, it is not surprising that lobbying expenses remain at this level,” added Blaha.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Local governments spent a total of $9.8 million on lobbying activities in 2021. This represents a decrease of $158,493, or two percent, from the amount spent on lobbying services in 2020. Of the $9.8 million spent on lobbying in 2021, $5.5 million was attributable to local governments using their own staff or hired contract lobbyists, while $4.3 million was attributable to the lobbying activities of associations of local governments.
  • In 2021, 105 local governments (ten fewer than in 2020) reported that they directly employed staff or hired contract lobbyists. These local governments spent a total of $5.5 million on staff and contract lobbyists. This was $8,791, or 0.2 percent, less than in 2020.
  • Eleven of the 105 local governments that directly employed lobbying staff and/or hired contract lobbyists reported over $100,000 in lobbying services expenditures, for a total of $2.4 million. These 11 local governments accounted for 44 percent of the total amount paid to contract and staff lobbyists in 2021.
  • Local governments paid dues of $13.4 million in 2021 to local government associations that also represented their interests before legislative, administrative, or other governmental bodies. These associations spent $4.3 million on lobbyists and lobbying in 2021, a decrease of three percent from 2020.
  • Among the 25 local government associations that lobbied the Legislature on behalf of their local government members, 13 associations reported expenditures on lobbying/lobbyists in excess of $100,000 in 2021. These 13 associations accounted for $3.8 million, or 88 percent, of the total lobbying expenditures of associations in 2021.

You may view the complete report on the OSA website.