Almost $90 million was spent by lobbyists in New Jersey last year, according to the Election Law Enforcement Commission. The top special interest categories for spending on lobbying were in Energy, Hospital, Insurance, and Transportation.

According to NJSpotlight, spending on marijuana lobbying saw one of the biggest increases jumping 313% to $1,365,362. That was lobbying on both the pro and con positions. Firms hoping to install wind turbines off the New Jersey coast also fueled a big increase in 2018, rising 234%. In terms of dollars spent, the pro and con regarding ratepayer subsidies to keep nuclear plants open topped $5 million, which was about the same has the year before.

Believe it or not, overall spending dropped about 2.5% from 2017 to 2018 according to ELEC. Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, says, “Lobbying is a vital and fundamental part of democracy."

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