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State legislative candidates probably will spend more money this election that has been transferred to them from other sources than cash they have raised themselves, a government watchdog group said Tuesday.

That demonstrates the continuing need to further limit the size of contributions and the transfer of campaign funds among committees and candidates, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group, which favors public financing of elections.

Political bosses are turning to funds donated to legislative campaign committees or state political party coffers, which allows them to circumvent limits on how much individuals and corporations can give directly to candidates.

New York limits contributions by individuals, political action committees and unions to Assembly candidates to $2,800 per primary and $2,800 per general election. For Senate races, the limits are $4,500 and $7,000.

But contributors in all three categories can give $69,600 per year to party committees and, if the checks are made out to "housekeeping accounts" for use in "political party building," there is no limit on contributions.

The group found that of 32 states with contribution limits, New York's were the highest.

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