Interest groups spent a record amount of money lobbying California government during the 2011-12 legislative session, according to records filed by Friday with the secretary of state.
Unions, corporations, trade associations and other groups that hire lobbyists spent $563.9 million during the session - up 4.3 percent from the 2009-10 session. The biggest spenders influenced myriad issues under the dome, including taxes, health care, environmental laws, the state budget and workers' compensation.
The 2011-12 session was good to Sacramento's lobbying firms, which brought in $345.1 million during the period, an increase of 5.7 percent over the prior session. (Though earnings in 2012 were down slightly from 2011.) The firms represented hundreds of clients, including Comcast, Bank of America, local governments and health care companies.