AUBURN, AL- In our last article, we looked at the ten states we have identified as seeing the highest growth in the number of state lobbyists: California, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Indiana, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Rhode Island. In that article, we examined the relationship that growth had with the Party that held the governorship, but, today, we look at the same sample and its relationship to the legislature.
As in the previous article, we begin with a look at the ten states and a general analysis on which Party had an outsized control in the given sample. Also noted in previous articles, we do want to acknowledge that these figures come from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, an outstanding organization out of Montana.
In the ten years of the ten states that saw the greatest lobbyist growth rate, 38 years were governed by Democrat legislatures, 39 years by Republicans, and 23 by split legislatures.
Over this time period, there was a 41.4% chance that a given state was governed by a Republican legislature- only 2.4% greater than the group of ten highest growth states.
Similarly, there was a 41% chance that a given state was governed by a Democrat legislature- only 3% greater than the group with the ten highest growth states.
The control of the two major parties in this sample is relatively similar- contrary to the fact that they skew Democrat in terms of control of the Governor’s mansion- to the nation as a whole. Conversely, there is a 5.4% increase of split legislatures among this sample. This is not a major difference, but it is interesting nonetheless.
For the first time, we see numbers more favorable to Democrats than to Republicans. In a year when Republicans controlled the legislature, the number of lobbyists grew from the previous year 58.3% of the time. In a year of Democrat control, the increase was 54.3%. The states with split legislatures fared the best with the number increasing only 52.6% of the time.
2011 and 2014 featured the most instances where states saw growth. 2010, 2014, and 2015 all saw multiple instances where states had their highest totals.
To see if the bad news for Republicans in this sample continues, look below. Below is a table looking at each instance where a party had consecutive years in control of the legislature- as well as consecutive years where it was split. As the tables above, it is color coded.
This analysis is more consistent with what we have seen across the study- a relationship of growth to Democrat leadership.
In the six periods of Democrat leadership, the number of lobbyists grew by an average of 539.5 from the beginning of the term to the end of the term. That number is 154.3 under Republican leadership- a stark contrast from the year over year look. Meanwhile, the numbers are once again more encouraging for split states with the growth over a term being 89.9 lobbyists on average.
We will be continuing this study, and we will roll out several articles that look state by state as well. Our hope, as we continue this study, is to generate a conversation, and we encourage your comments on our Facebook page HERE. Please also continue to check TakeBack.org as we continue this journey.