A record $22 million was spent lobbying the state in 2007.
According to data compiled by the nonpartisan Democracy North Carolina, nearly 900 businesses, trade associations and nonprofits lobbied state officials in 2007, the last long session of the state legislature.
That amounts to nearly $125,000 for each of the 170 legislators.
The $19.5 million in compensation for individual lobbyists was $5 million more than reported in 2005, but executive director Bob Hall said that may be because we know more.
"That big a jump is largely due to the state's new ethics law that requires more groups to file more complete reports about more of their activities," he said.
The top lobbying groups were the N.C. Association of Realtors, which reported spending $972,384 on six lobbyists and other expenses; Land for Tomorrow, $403,092 on three lobbyists; and the N.C. Automobile Dealers Association, $287,959 on four lobbyists.
The highest-paid lobbyists were former state Sen. Steve Metcalf of Asheville, who reported $485,362 in compensation; former Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten, $396,764; and Alexander "Sandy" Sands of Womble Carlyle, $325,055.