Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's budget surplus is growing - and so is the spending of lobbyists.
A new report from the Center for Public Integrity found that special interests spent more than three times as much money on lobbying in 2004 as they did in 2000, when the state still faced budget constraints.
Lobbyists reported spending 409-thousand for the budget session in 2004.
Leah Rush is director of state projects for the center. She says even those numbers don't tell the whole picture because they don't include salaries and expenses.
Chris Boswell is chief of staff for Governor Dave Freudenthal and a former legislator. He says lobbyists do provide a needed service to Wyoming lawmakers, who do NOT have their own research staffs.