- Associated Press - Friday, June 1, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s 2018 legislative session set a record with $10.67 million spent on lobbying.

The Legislative Ethics Commission says the spending puts Kentucky on track for a record-breaking year with more than $22 million spent on influencing lawmakers.

This year’s spending is 11 percent higher than 2016 and 19 percent higher than 2017. Altria was first with more than $379,000 in spending. Altria is the parent company of Phillip Morris and opposed an increase in the cigarette tax. The legislature approved a 50-cent per pack increase.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce was second, with more than $187,000. Utility company LG&E; & KU Power was third with more than $126,000. The Kentucky Hospital Association was fourth with more than $111,000. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky was fifth at more than $110,000.

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