As in previous years, The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce spent more than any other group on lobbying the Minnesota Legislature and other state agencies (like the Public Utilities Commission) last year. The Chamber reported spending $1.8 million in 2010.
Otter Tail Power Company was second on the list. The power company spent $1.2 million on lobbying in 2010.
The Minnesota Business Partnership spent $920,000.
Education Minnesota, the state's teacher's union, spent $900,000.
The Minneapolis Radiation Oncology Physicians spent $720,000.
The Minnesota Chamber, the Minnesota Business Partnership and Education Minnesota are typically at the top when it comes to lobbying at the State Capitol.
Otter Tail Power Company's lobbying expenses ticked up because the company was working to get approval of the Big Stone Il power plant proposal completed.
Update: Otter Tail Power Company's lobbying expenses were expended at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on their rate case and a part of the CapX2020 transmission route permits and certificate of need. The company withdrew from Big Stone II in 2009.
The Minneapolis Radiation Oncology Physicians are lobbying to keep a state ban in place on new radiation clinics. State law forbids radiation centers from being build unless it's attached to a hospital.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board released the figures for 2010. You can find more here.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers is asking Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, to seek "additional professional evaluation," following the legislator's latest run in with police.
Buesgens is on probation for a drunken driving offense last year. The Shakopee Valley News reported that Buesgens was stopped Wednesday in Scott County on a possible violation of court conditions barring alcohol use and drinking and driving. He was reportedly released with a warning after passing a blood alcohol test and field sobriety tests.
Zellers issued a written statement this afternoon.
"I have not yet spoken with Representative Mark Buesgens. Representative Buesgens has taken responsibility for his actions in response to violating his probation. These allegations are serious, and we expect Representative Buesgens to continue to take responsibility for his actions. We will support and pray for him in his recovery effort, and have requested that he seek additional professional evaluation and follow all recommended action."