Wednesday, March 17, 2010 and Updated Legislative Spending

That nice big castle thing you see above is our New York State legislature. When you get elected to represent people and you walk into that structure, something happens to your head; ethics and values which you grew up with disappear. Suddenly a nice thick, new carpet for your office seems necessary. The latest computer/fax/printer with the biggest to have it. Doesn't matter if people are going hungry in your district, they'll never know that you are spending thousands of dollars in public money on that extra comfy leather chair for your new desk.

Or will they? Thanks,!!!!


Betsy Combier
Editor, New York Court Corruption

Updated Legislative Spending Posted On Internet
March 17, 2010

CONTACT: Lise Bang-Jensen
(518) 434-3100

Office expenditures of individual state Senators and Assembly members for the six months ending September 30, 2009, the latest period for which data are available, have been posted in a searchable format on the Empire Center’s government transparency website,

The data show that Senate Democrats, who took control of the majority in January 2009, spent $12,994,058 on their member office operations from April through September last year. This was an increase of $4.2 million, or 48 percent, over the same period in 2008. Senate Republicans, now in the minority, spent $9,927,046 -- a decrease of $6 million, or 38 percent. Other highlights:

* Senate Democrats spent an average of $393,759 per member office. This represents an increase of $101,411 or 35 percent from the $292,349 per member from the same period in 2008, when they were in the minority.

* Senate Republicans averaged $320,227 per member office. This represents a decrease of $178,600, or 36 percent from the $498,827 in average member expenditures when they were in the majority. However, it was 9.5 percent more per member than Democrats received when they were in the minority a year earlier.

* Democratic members of the Assembly majority averaged $193,712 per member in spending, and increase of .06 percent, while Republican minority spending was $139,980 per member, a 5 percent decrease.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) (at right) spent $440,764 on staff, rent, travel, telephone service, office supplies and other expenditures during the 6-month period, making him the highest spender among the 150 members of his house. The Assembly’s next highest

spenders were: Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn-pictured at right), $381,710; Catherine Nolan (D-Queens), $354,043; Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn), $346,389; and Robin Schimminger (D-Erie County), $332,115. The sixth highest was Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) at $311,971 for his expenditures as an Assembly member. That does not include his expenditures as Assembly Speaker.

In the 62-member Senate, the top spender was Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), who serves as the Deputy Majority Leader. He spent $758,070 on office operations, excluding his leadership expenses. The Senate’s next highest spenders were: Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn-pictured below), $705,741; Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan/Bronx), $607,200; John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), $570,976; and Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), $500,325.
Senator Carl Kruger
The posted data, which can be downloaded on a spreadsheet, covers the period of April 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009. A copy of the expenditure rankings for the six-month period is here. Not included in the expenditure reports are member items, or pork barrel projects, which also can be viewed on the “Expenditures” section of

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