Taxpayer Funded Lobbying Continues
One of the practices I have long been opposed to is governments using tax dollars to hire lobbyists to lobby other levels of government. 9 years ago, I contributed to a major project on this topic. While the data have certainly changed, the points and arguments remain the same.
Recently, St. Louis County decided to use tax dollars to hire lobbyists in Jefferson City. I think that the dozens of members of the state legislature and their staffs from both parties that represent St. Louis County should be the ones looking out for the interests of St. Louis County, not additional lobbyists. Frequently, the lobbyist money is used to try to get more tax dollars sent from higher levels of government to lower levels, as the cycle of taxing, spending, and more debt repeats itself. (I will give St. Louis County some credit here for apparently using the money for policy purposes, at least for now.)
St. Louis County is far from alone. Many Missouri governments have contracted with lobbyists for years, including Kansas City. Elected officials and staff have every ability to drive home their goals and wants to other levels of government. Hiring lobbyists with tax dollars is both a waste and an improper use of tax money.