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Lobbyist Pay Nears $5 Million During Budget, Solar Debates

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Maine lobbyists who report being paid $4.8 million include familiar political faces involved in fights over solar legislation, voter-approved laws and the two-year, $7.1 billion budget.

  The 2017 spending documents the revolving door of Maine politics and the influence of former lawmakers and administration officials. GOP Gov. Paul LePage's former adviser Holly Lusk and former Democratic Rep. Adam Goode returned to lobby, as law allows.

  Four lobbyists for one Augusta-based firm reported $934,000 in pay. The firm's highest-paid lobbyist is former Republican House leader Josh Tardy.

  Biggest spenders include Central Maine Power Company and the nonprofit Industrial Energy Consumer Group.
  The world's leading tobacco producers lost their fight against a law barring tobacco sales to those under 21.