Universities in the Grand Rapids-area are no strangers in using lobbyists to influence the federal government, but the amount they spend on such efforts pales in comparison to the state’s major research universities.
So far this year, Grand Valley State University has spent $20,000 on federal lobbying, according to data released last week by the Center for Responsive Politics, or CFRP, which tracks money in politics. Ferris State University has spent $40,000.
That’s a drop in the bucket when compared with Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, each of which have spent more than $130,000 thus far in 2012, according to CFRP. All three have governmental relations staff based in Washington, D.C., and receive a significant amount of federal research dollars.
“Generally, there’s a correlation with the larger the university is, the larger the amount of research there is at the university and the amount of lobbying they do,” said Daniel Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.