State lawmakers getting pay raise for first time in 20 years

<p>A state panel is recommending a salary hike of about 38 percent to make up for 20 straight years of no raises.</p>

News 12 Staff

Dec 7, 2018, 7:40 PM

Updated 1,997 days ago

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All members of the state Legislature in Albany will start off the new year with a massive pay raise.
A state panel is recommending a salary hike of about 38 percent to make up for 20 straight years of no raises.
Currently, the base pay of state lawmakers is $79,500 dollars. That would jump to $110,000 next year, $120,000 in 2020 and $130,000 in 2021. But the plan would also severely restrict the outside income of legislators. As of right now, there's no limit on what they can earn in a second job. Starting in 2020, income would be limited to 15 percent of their salary, or $18,000.
Supporters of the raises say taxpayers should be excited about the limiting outside income aspect. They say much of the corruption in Albany stems from lawmakers having second jobs.
"When you're more interested in hustling for business, or when someone wants something from you in your official capacity and is paying you in your private capacity, you're not always looking out for what's best for the public," says state Sen. Todd Kaminsky.
Some government groups say a lot more than just limiting outside income is needed to end corruption, including limiting campaign contributions and government contract oversight.
The raises will automatically take effect in January unless state legislators vote this month for them to not take effect. That is not expected to happen.
Other elected state officials are covered under the plan, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He would become the highest-paid governor in the U.S., with a salary of $250,000 by 2022.


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