ALBANY – A coalition of business leaders supportive of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spent nearly $5 million in the past two months lobbying in favor of the governor’s budget and his proposal to limit local property taxes, according to a new filing with the state ethics commission.
The group, the Committee to Save New York, which registered as a lobbying group in January after facing criticism from good-government groups, has now spent $7.4 million since Mr. Cuomo took office in January, including more than $5.8 million in advertising expenditures.
The group spent more than $4 million advertising in support of the governor’s agenda in March and April (see filing below) alone, according to the new filing.
The group, whose board of directors includes prominent people in real estate, banking and business, was formed with the mission of providing a counterweight to the usual advertising blitz from labor unions during Albany’s budget season.
Not all lobbying groups have yet reported their spending for March and April. But when they do, it is likely that the Committee to Save New York will rank as at least one of the biggest spenders in this year’s budget season, if not the biggest.
The group had initially been expected to spend as much as $10 million to lobby for Mr. Cuomo’s budget, which reduced year-to-year spending for the first time in more then a decade. But Mr. Cuomo faced less resistance than expected, in part because of a deal he struck with the state’s hospitals and health care union in which those groups, which historically are deep-pocketed foes of proposed cuts in spending, advertised on behalf of his budget instead of against it.