DENVER — Business interests, associations, nonprofits and other groups spent a record $36.4 million to lobby Colorado lawmakers and government agencies this year.
According to state records analyzed by The Colorado Sun, the money spent in fiscal year 2019 is up 9% from the $33.4 million spent the year before.
Cannabis businesses spent nearly $1.4 million, and oil and gas interests more than $1 million.
The spending to influence policy in Colorado has steadily increased over the past five years. The 2019 numbers are 22% higher than in 2015.
More than 600 firms and individuals representing more than 1,000 clients registered to lobby the Democratic-controlled legislature and state government in fiscal year 2019.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold says the level of spending is concerning because only large organizations can afford lobbyists.