Special Session Scheduled For Record-Setting Legislative Pay Raise

ALBANY, NY—Earlier this week, Albany Update noted—with strong disapproval—that the New York State Legislature might return to Albany before the end of the year to give themselves $20,000-per-year pay raises.

Now that the pay raise bill has been introduced, it turns out that New York lawmakers have even more generous increases in mind. Bill S.9617-Stewart-Cousins/A.10730-Heastie would set legislator salaries at a whopping $142,000—an increase of $32,000, or 29%. (How many other New Yorkers are getting 29% raises this Christmas?!) The bill also contains limits on legislators’ outside income.

If passed, this bill will make members of the New York State Legislature the highest-paid state legislators in the nation; their salaries would exceed those of California’s state legislators by more than $22,000.

Jason J. McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, noted, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in New York for the years 2017 to 2021 was $75,157. The proposed legislation would cause legislators to be paid nearly double that amount. Do members of the Legislature see themselves as our representatives or our overlords? The votes will soon tell.”

Reports indicate that the Legislature intends to convene Thursday, December 22, to pass this self-centered and misguided bill.