Uber Leads Lobbying, Teachers Union Not Far Behind

ALBANY (AP) -

In New York state government news, no group hoping to influence state lawmakers spent more on lobbying in the first half of 2017 than Uber, as the ride-hailing company worked to convince lawmakers to allow it to expand upstate. But second in line is the state’s teachers’ unions, which lobbied to keep charters and nonpublic schools out of state funding.

The app-based ride-hailing service reported nearly $1.8 million in lobbying expenses for the first six months of 2017, beating out the teachers unions, the AARP, or the trial lawyers.

It may have been a wise investment. For years the company’s efforts to move outside of New York City fell flat but this spring, lawmakers voted to authorize the expansion into cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Uber and its competitor, Lyft, began picking up passengers this summer.

Also on top of the list were lobbyists for healthcare companies and landlord groups.