Legislative lobbying revenues up (at least) $2.2 million over last year

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Lobbyists were required to file new reports by Sunday that disclosed how much they were paid during the second quarter of 2011. The new totals show that legislative lobbyists earned as much as $64.8 million in the first six months of this year. That’s an increase over 2010 when reports showed lobbyists were paid nearly $62.6 million.

Last year, lobbyists reported that their income had dipped for the first time since 2007. But veteran lobbyists say they have noticed that has changed.

“Folks are beginning to say that ‘we now understand that even during bad times we need to have good representation’,” said Brian Ballard, a well-known Tallahassee lobbyist whose firm earned more than $2 million during the first half of 2011. “It’s indicative I hope of a bettering economy.”

…The reports filed by lobbyists show that as much as $108 million was spent lobbying both the Legislature and the executive branches during the first half of the year when lawmakers were in session.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.