Sen. James Skoufis, D-Newburgh, had $134,858 in staff and member office expenses during his first three months in the Senate, the most among newly elected members of that house, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

From October 2018 to March 2019, the most recent six-month period covered by the Legislature’s regular disclosures, the member with the highest staff and office expenses was Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, who disbursed $454,428 in the six-month time period. Among Senate members, Sen. Philip Boyle, R-Bay Shore, topped the list with staff and office spending of $439,683 in the same time frame. Both houses combined spent a total of $106,686,755 on their operations during the six-month time period.

This particular data set covers a period during which majority control of the Senate shifted, so the Senate numbers are not indicative of how staff allocations changed at the start of the year. Total legislative staff and office expenditures decreased by nearly $6.7 million or 6 percent in comparison to the same six-month time period in 2017-18.

Other notable spending includes:

  • The state Assembly and Senate spent nearly $82.5 million on personal services such as salaries and bonus payments, over $1.4 million more than the same time period last year.
  • The Assembly spent less than $1.5 million on mailings, 48 percent less than the same time period last year. This is likely related to the fact that this six-month time period was not in an election year and neither houses can send mailings within 30 days of an election.
  • The Senate spent $2.8 million on postage, $1.2 million less than this time-period last year.
  • The Assembly spent more than $541,000 on mainframe computers, more than three times the amount spent last year.
  • The Senate spent over $611,000 on paper, more than $200,000 more than last year.

Taxpayers can examine over $2.6 billion in operational expenditures by the Legislature since 2006 thanks to the SeeThroughNY Legislative Expenditures database.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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