Players in Maryland’s debates over gambling, same-sex marriage, health-care and tax issues were among the biggest spenders on Annapolis lobbyists during this year’s 90-day session.
Penn National Gaming, the owner of one Maryland casino with an interest in a second, topped the most recent list compiled by the State Ethics Commission.
Penn National reported spending $877,433 between November and April, a stretch that included the annual legislative session.
By the end of the session, the company’s push to allow a casino at Rosecroft Raceway had largely been overshadowed by an effort to allow one at another Prince George’s location: National Harbor. Both efforts fell short, but there’s still some chance lawmakers could consider an expanded gambling plan during a special session this summer.
The Maryland State Education Association was second in spending, with a reported $502,345. The group was interested in several issues this year, including a plan to shift part of the cost of teacher pensions from the state to Maryland’s counties.
Not far behind was the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights organization, that played a big role in Maryland’s passage of a same-sex marriage bill. The HRC reported spending $494,100 during the six-month period.
Rounding out the top 10 were the Maryland Association of Realtors, with $443,117 in spending; Verizon Maryland, with $356,081; the Maryland Hospital Association, with $327,782; the Maryland State Medical Society, with $296,871; the National Association of Realtors, with $279,955; the Maryland Bankers Association, with $268,043; and the Baltimore Jewish Council, with $261,378.
Among individual lobbyists, Gerard Evans is listed as the top earner during the six-month period, with more than $1 million in compensation. Evans’s clients included Penn National and the Baltimore Orioles.
A complete list of top-earning lobbyists is available here.
A complete list of top spenders on lobbyists is available here.