DENVER (KDVR) — New data analysis from the Colorado Sun found the state legislature saw a record amount of money come in from lobbying. According to the report, lobbyists spent $51 million last fiscal year.

The report found 14 of the 20 most expensive bills lobbied for last session did become law, despite a split in lobbying in support of and against the measures.

The political experts on “Colorado Point of View” weighed in this week on whether state laws are being bought and paid for.

Colorado lobbyists spend big on 2 bills

The two pieces of legislation that drew in the most money did not pass. 

The first was the land-use measure, which was originally introduced to address affordable housing, but it was drastically changed before it failed on the last day of the legislative session. More than half of the clients lobbying on this bill were opposed to it.

The next measure, which brought in the most clients lobbying against the bill, looked to make scheduling fairer for hourly employees. Again, this bill’s rejection falls in line with the lobbying figures, which show more than three-quarters of the lobbying was done against it.

A line graph showing lobbyist spending on a steady incline from 2016-2023
Colorado lobbying spending (Source: Colorado Secretary of State, analysis by the Colorado Sun)

“There are legitimate concerns on both sides of the bill that really can cause those in the legislature and in the governor’s office to pay attention. So, it shows lobbyists know what they’re doing,” Democratic strategist Andy Boian said.

“I think the fact that not all of them are dying, not all of them are passing, there is this kind of back and forth that all these things factor in. It’s not: If you spend this amount of money this bill will die, or it’ll pass. The governor has to sign stuff, you have vetoes,” Republican strategist Michael Fields said.

Watch the full conversation this week on “Colorado Point of View,” which airs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 2.