Registered lobbyists spent $58.3 million in 2014, an 8.14 percent drop compared with the year before, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Despite the drop, Jeff Brindle, executive director of ELEC, cautioned against too much being read into the reduction. Lobbying expenditures, he said in a press statement, tend to depend on the number of controversial bills being discussed in the State House.
Most of the reduction in lobbying expenditures in 2014 came from a decrease in communications expenditures, along with cuts in in-house salaries and compensation, according to the ELEC report. Communications outlays dropped from $6.8 million to $3.7 million last year.
Insurance companies were the special-interest group spending the most lobbying money last year, at $4.2 million, followed by hospitals at $3.4 million and energy companies at $3.2 million.