June 26, 2013

Spending on state lobbying shifts from gambling to health care

Print More
State House at sunset.

State House at sunset.

By Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis@MarylandReporter.com

Eight out of the 10 highest paid lobbyists in 2012 are on track to retain their titles in 2013, while business spending on lobbyists shifted from gambling to health care, according to a post-session report released by the State Ethics Commission. For the six month reporting period from Nov. 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013, lobbyists have reported earning $23 million.

At the halfway mark through the 2013 reporting year for lobbyists, Gerard Evans is slated to be the highest paid lobbyist in Maryland, with year-to-date earnings of $1.176 million. Maryland Hospital Association is on track to being the biggest spender, having so far paid out $380,448 to lobbyists.

 The report does not cover lobbyists for state agencies or local governments who are not required to file. The report also does not show how much of their fees lobbyists or their firms spent on staff, overhead and other expenses.

Joel Rozner, who has earned $909,012, is in contention for holding onto his 2012 second place spot, and Lisa Harris Jones, with earnings of $864,625 year-to-date, is in third place.

Top 10 Lobbyists Receiving $50,000 or more in compensation, Nov. 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013

1. Gerard Evans, $1,176,000

2. Joel D. Rozner, $909,012

3. Lisa Harris-Jones, $864,625

4. Timothy A. Perry, $813,468

5. Frank D. Boston, III, $710,641

6.Michael V. Johansen, $702,552

7. Bruce C. Bereano, $665,350

8. Robert D. Enten, $645,749

9. Robin F. Shaivitz, $640,148

10. Nicholas G. Manis, $637,850

Health related companies have spent the most on lobbying so far this cycle, with a range of businesses making up the remaining of the top 10 spenders.

Employers spending $50,000 or more, Nov. 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013

1. Maryland Hospital Association spent $380,448

2. MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, $303,182

3. The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, $290,000

4. Maryland State Education Association, $287,268

5. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, $277,277

6. Maryland Bankers Association, $274,105

7. Baltimore Jewish Council, $266,436

8. CareFirst Blue Cross BlueShield, $249,921

9. Johns Hopkins Institutions, $239,058

10. Altria Client Services Inc. – Philip Morris USA Inc., John Middleton Co. and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, LLC, $233,160.

In contrast, in the Nov. 1, 2011 to Oct. 31, 2012 reporting period, the majority of the top 10 companies were made up of groups either for or against the expansion of gambling.

Legislation allowing the expansion of gambling, which included adding table games to Maryland’s five existing casinos and building a new waterfront casino at National Harbor, passed the state legislature in August of 2012 during a special session.

CORRECTION: With casino projects underway, legislative attention switched to Obamacare and the Oct. 1 2013 2014  implementation of the state health exchange program.

The business sector has spent approximately $16.8 million on lobbying services in the first six months of the 2013 reporting year. In 2012, companies spent approximately $40 million, according to data on the state ethics commission website.