Uber spent $1.8 million during 2017 session, topping the list of Albany lobbying efforts

Legislative Gazette file photo

Interest groups, businesses and issue advocates spent $121.2 million on lobbying efforts during the first half of 2017, according to a report by The Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

This represents an increase of about $1 million — or about 1 percent — from lobbying expenditures during the same time period in 2016.

Among those top lobbying spenders for the first part of the year was Uber Technologies, Inc., which led all organizations with almost $1.8 million in lobbying expenditures.

The other top spenders were the Greater New York Hospital Association, Inc. ($1.45 million); Rent Stabilization Association of New York, Inc. ($943,280); New York State United Teachers ($858,846); and AARP ($790,717), which made the top 10 list for the first time since 2014.

New to this year’s list was Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group representing companies in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, which spent $787,518.

The data in JCOPE’s report shows that approximately $107 million of the $121 million in total lobbying spending for January through June 2017 went to cover the cost of compensation to retained and in-house lobbyists, with about $5.3 million spent on advertising, nearly $431,000 on events, and the remainder on other lobbying-related expenses.

Despite total spending being up from mid-year 2016, the top 10 lobbying firms received just shy of $35.3 million in compensation and reimbursed expenses, about $200,000 less than the same time period last year.

Nine of the top 10 professional lobbying firms on the 2016 mid-year list are still on it this year, with New York City’s Kasirer LLC leading all lobbying firms through June 2017 with almost $5.5 million in total earnings.

Jackson Lewis P.C., which significantly expanded its lobbying practice in 2016, entered the top 10, earning $2.615 million.

Kasirer LLC led all lobbyists with 159 clients through June 2017, followed by Brown & Weinraub, PLLC, which registered to represent 141 clients. Bolton St. Johns, LLC was close behind with 138 clients.

These most recent figures come from data submitted to JCOPE by lobbyists, their clients and public corporations, covering lobbying activities from January 1 through June 30, 2017.

Registered lobbyists and public corporations must file bi-monthly reports that include the amount of compensation and reimbursed expenses for lobbying activities that were received during the previous two months.

For clients of lobbyists, filings must be submitted twice a year that detail lobbying expenditures during the previous six months, including how much was spent on advertising.

As of June 30, 2017, there were 5,999 individual lobbyists reported on lobbyist registrations in New York state, representing 3,590 clients.

The following companies and organizations are the top ten spenders on lobbying activities for the first half of 2017:

• Uber Technologies, Inc., spending $1,784,269.
• The Greater New York Hospital Association, spending $1,451,020.
• Rent Stabilization Association of NYC, Inc., spending $943,280.
• New York State United Teachers, spending $858,846.
• AARP, spending $790,717.
• Pharmaceutical Research and manufacturers of America, spending $787,518.
• The Healthcare Association of NYS, spending $713,819.
• The Trial Lawyers Association of New York State, spending $659,903.
• United Federation of Teachers, spending $657,841.
• United University Professions, spending $641,880.