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Lobbyists spent roughly 40 million dollars on Michigan lawmakers in 2017

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Lobbyists spent 39 point four million dollars on Michigan lawmakers in 2017, according to disclosures.

That number is slightly less than the all-time record in 2016 of 39 point nine million.

Craig Mauger is with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He said lobbyists reported 821 thousand dollars in food and drink spending.

“Spending on food was likely up in 2017 because that number goes up when new lawmakers are in their first year. A bunch of lawmakers were elected in 2016, they came to Lansing in 2017 for the first time, and that’s when lobbyists tend to spend more money on food.”

Mauger said it’s likely lobbying changes what lawmakers vote on.

“I don’t think they would be increasing their investment year over year and trending their investment in lobbying up if they didn’t see this investment having some type of impact.”

Mauger said lobbyists only have to disclose meal spending if it goes over 375 dollars a year, and can give gifts valued under 60 dollars without disclosing them either.

Mauger said lobbyists also don’t need to disclose what they spoke with lawmakers about over dinner.