lobbyists

Lobbyists & Legislators
5:31 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lobbyist-Paid Meals Legislation Appears To Die In Washington Statehouse

File image
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

It looks like Washington lawmakers may adjourn their 60-day legislative session without addressing the issue of lobbyist-paid entertainment. Free meals for lawmakers became an issue last year after we reported on several state senators who regularly allowed lobbyists to pick up the tab.

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lobbyists
10:37 am
Sun August 25, 2013

In Wash. State, Private Lobbyists Get Public Pension

FILE - In this May 9, 2013 file photo, Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.
Mike Groll AP Photo

As a lobbyist in New York's statehouse, Stephen Acquario is doing pretty well. He pulls down $204,000 a year, more than the governor makes, gets a Ford Explorer as his company car and is afforded another special perk:

Even though he's not a government employee, he is entitled to a full state pension.

He's among hundreds of lobbyists in at least 20 states, including Washington state, who get public pensions because they represent associations of counties, cities and school boards, an Associated Press review found. Legislatures granted them access decades ago on the premise that they serve governments and the public. In many cases, such access also includes state health care benefits.

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