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You Paid For It: Printed Law Books

You Paid For It: Printed Law Books

They’re back – law books in the NYS Assembly. Not long after we reported that the State Assembly was spending millions of your tax dollars on books that many members of the Assembly said aren’t really needed, the Assembly promised last year to stop the practice – or so they said. It turns out that despite that promise, the books are still being purchased and you’re still paying big money for them.

The Assembly records we’ve obtained show that $264,000 dollars was spent on law books in the first six months of 2017. That is right on pace with the last two years, when just over half a million was spent on the books each year. The records we found showed that often the Assembly would buy 70 copies of the same book, even though we couldn’t find an Assembly member who said the books were needed, and even though most private law firms have gone digital and done away with law books.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan, a Democrat from Buffalo, told us last year that Assembly leaders accepted a recommendation from an Assembly work group to do away with the pricey books – Ryan seemed genuinely surprised when we told him a few weeks ago that the practice had not been stopped.

Ryan has promised to look into why the books are still coming in, but so far no answers from his office or the office of the Assembly Speaker.

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