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Committee to Save New York massively outspends other lobby groups

Group supporting Gov. Cuomo's agenda spent $4 million between January and April, nine times as much as second-biggest lobby force

Lobbyists for the National Federation of Independent Businesses at the State Senate in 2010. AP Photo/Mike Groll

The Committee to Save New York, the secretive collection of industry groups supporting Gov. Cuomo’s legislative agenda, spent $4 million between January and April of this year on lobbying — nearly nine times as much as the second-biggest spender in that period, the United Federation of Teachers.

That’s just one revelation in The New York World’s newly updated Lobbies at the Top 2012 database, which shows spending so far this year by companies and organizations seeking to influence state and city officials. The Lobbies at the Top is based on data supplied by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, as reported by lobbyists in their bimonthly filings. As the legislative session draws to a close this week, The Lobbies at the Top reveals the forces weighing in on bills in the state Senate or Assembly, including failed measures to increase the minimum wage increase and legalize medical marijuana.

On the minimum wage, new filers in March and April include the National Federation of Independent Businesses, JC Penney, Stop & Shop, Ski Areas of New York, Wendy’s and the Association of Health Care Providers, all representing businesses affected by state wage laws. New labor and anti-poverty groups joining the fray included the AFL-CIO and Coalition for the Homeless.

The final tally on spending for the 2012 session will have to wait until the Joint Comission on Public Ethics releases lobbying reports for May and June later this year. But the Committee to Save New York’s spending lead is likely to endure: in 2011, it outspent the next biggest lobbying force — the alliance of the state’s biggest health care workers union and major hospitals — by two-to-one.