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Report: Top 50 lobbyists spent $45M

ALBANY — A new report shows the top 50 lobbyists in Albany spent $45 million last year on lobbying and campaign contributions to influence the state Legislature.

The New York Public Interest Research Group report details the spending during the height of New York’s fiscal crisis, during which taxes and fees were increased by historic amounts.

The report released Monday shows that teachers unions spent nearly $3 million on lobbying and contributed nearly $1 million to campaigns. The unions fought off deep cuts in school aid, most of which goes to salaries, and secured a sweeter early retirement incentive than other unions.

Health care interests spent $5 million on lobbying and campaign donations.

All outspent Philip Morris USA, Goldman Sachs and Coca Cola.