By Associated Press - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A new watchdog report says spending on lobbyists at the Nebraska Capitol has reached another record high.

The report released Wednesday by Common Cause Nebraska says more than $17.4 million was spent on lobbyists last year, up from roughly $16.8 million the prior year. The totals have increased consistently each year since at least 2013.

Jack Gould of Common Cause Nebraska says lobbyists can “open nearly any door” with current state laws. He says lobbyists can wine, dine and entertain public officials, donate to their campaign funds, host fundraisers and solicit campaign money from their clients.

The report says the number of paid lobbyists has grown as well, to 377 last year from 364 in 2016.

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