Lobbyists and their employers spent $236,828 on gifts, wining and dining for elected officials, their guests and staff during the 2016 legislative session.
And that’s only a portion of what was spent during the 30-day session because it captures only those times lobbyists spent $500 or more on a single event.
We’ll know more about how entertained lawmakers were during the 30-day session when lobbyists and employers make their full reports on May 1. If Gov. Susana Martinez signs House Bill 105, lobbyists will have to file reports again in October. Right now lobbyists file full reports only in January and May.
Last year, during a session twice as long, lobbyists reported spending nearly $300,000 during the session.
The big event of the final week was the 100th Bill Party on Feb. 12 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. IATSE Local 480, the union representing the film industry, spent $19,500 as the primary host of the event.
Also contributing to the party: the Fort Sill Apache Tribe spent $1,000; auto-parts company LKQ Corp. spent $1,000; Joshua Rosen spent $1,000 and Drew Setter spent $500 on behalf of ITC Holdings. Rosen represents Albuquerque Studios and the state charter school association.
Other filings during the final week:
- Louisiana Energy Services, which operates a private uranium enrichment plant in eastern New Mexico, spent $4,558 Feb. 15 for lunch for lawmakers and their staff.
- Mark Duran spent $4,300 Feb. 10 for dinner at the Bull Ring for the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, their staff and their guests. He also spent $745 on Feb. 17 for dinner for senators and their staff. Duran represents a variety of clients.
- Tasia Young, lobbyist for New Mexico Association of Counties, spent $935 Feb. 8 for pizza for Legislative Council Services.
- The New Mexico Manufactured Housing Association spent $870 on Feb. 17 for dinner for senators and their staff.
Here’s a table of all the spending reported during the session: