State lawmakers spent $7.3 million on postage for mailings, which often resemble campaign-style mailings, to constituents in the six-month run-up to last year’s elections, according to data added today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. In the same period a year earlier, a non-election year, legislators spent $5.2 million on the same category. 

Senators spent $3.7 million and Assembly members spent $3.6 million on bulk postage and newsletter mailings between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. The figures do not include the added cost of paper, printing equipment or of legislative writers and graphic artists who work on the mailings, which typically feature photographs of lawmakers and flattering language.   

A similar election-year surge in taxpayer-funded mailings was observed ahead of the 2018 election, when bulk postage spending also topped $7 million, according to data previously posted on SeeThroughNY. 

Click here to view the full legislative expenditures, dating back to 2007. 

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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