The president of Southern Illinois University is defending more than $2 million spent on lobbyists in Springfield in the past dozen years.
Glenn Poshard told the Belleville News-Democrat in a story published Monday (http://tinyurl.com/llk35jv) that lobbyists are necessary to keep track of the thousands of pieces of legislation that go before lawmakers in the Capitol each year.
The newspaper reported SIU — with campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville, and medical and dental schools — spent just under $2.2 million since 2000.
Poshard is a former state senator and U.S. congressman. He says SIU has a $900 million-a-year budget and its staff often testifies on legislation in legislative committees.
He says lobbyists got $1 million for cancer research and $1 million for corn-to-ethanol research in Edwardsville which had been cut.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)