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Minnesota local governments spent $1.1 million to lobby in Washington

An analysis by the conservative Watchdog Minnesota looked at federal disclosure information and found the University of Minnesota spent $290,000.

An analysis of federal disclosure forms shows that local Minnesota governments and the University of Minnesota spent $1.1 million last year on lobbying in Washington, D.C.

According to Tom Steward of Watchdog Minnesota, the University of Minnesota spent the most on national lobbying, paying $290,000 last year.

Next were the City of Minneapolis ($105,000), North Metro I-35 Corridor Coalition ($72,000), Hennepin County ($70,000) and Bemidji Regional Airport ($40,000).

Matt Hodson of the University of Minnesota said:

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“Federal lobbying expenditures are a necessary expense to ensure that the University of Minnesota remains connected with policymakers in Minnesota and Washington, D.C.”

Steward said the payments for Washington lobbying are in addition to the $8 million local governments spent in 2011 to lobby for state legislation at the Capitol in St. Paul. An annual report by the state auditor doesn’t require listing of the national lobbyist costs, the story said.