You Paid For It: Pay Raise Pledge
Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 01:56 PM EDT
ALBANY -- It's been one of the big questions floating around the State Capitol for months -- will lawmakers return for a special session to vote on a legislative pay raise that would go into effect next year. They couldn't possibly do it before the election -- that could be political suicide.
But now that the votes have been cast it could happen -- perhaps a tougher sell now that so much money is needed for Hurricane Sandy relief. All year long, Greg Floyd has been checking in with local lawmakers -- getting them on the record before a vote, because when it comes to their salaries -- You Paid For It.
Governor Cuomo has talked about the possibility of a pay raise, but says it can't be considered until the legislature does "the people's business." That would include, among other things, taking action on raising the state's minimum wage.
But should lawmakers get a higher wage? They make $79,500 for a part time job. Most also get stipends that range from $9,000 to $41,500.
Assembly Democrats are pushing the pay hike, but it can't be done without Senate Republicans -- and they continually tell me they will not vote for the hike. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos assured me earlier this year that a pay raise is not inthe works in the senate. Every single local Senator, Republican and Democrat, also told Greg that thay will not vote for a legislative pay hike.
There are two local assembly members who say yes to a pay raise -- Assembly members Ron Canestrari and Jack McEneny, and Bob Reilly is still undecided, but leaning toward being in favor. All three are retiring. Every other local lawmaker from the Capital Region from both parties and both houses has told me they are against a legislative pay raise.