LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lobbyists in Nebraska raked in more cash than ever last year and more people joined their ranks to try to influence public officials, according to a new report.

Lobbyists collected $19.4 million in gross earnings in 2019, according to Common Cause Nebraska. The government watchdog group said the total is a record, up from $17.8 million in 2018.

The number of paid, registered lobbyists also increased to 405 last year, up from 378 in 2018, according to Common Cause Nebraska's annual lobbyist spending report.

The report also notes the ongoing lobbying by taxpayer-funded government organizations, including local school boards and the University of Nebraska.

Jack Gould, the group's issues chairman, said lobbyists are getting more involved in campaign contributions as well, “which everyone should be concerned about.”

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