Leave pay where it is

One of the main reasons it is good to be a lawmaker in New York state: you can basically vote yourself a raise.

Top lawmakers have said they may seek a special lame-duck session next month to consider the issue.

Various news outlets reported Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state lawmakers were discussing holding the session, which seems likely to include a raise for the Legislature, which would presumably benefit any lawmaker still in office in January.

As is so typical for the state, most of the reports have included the speculation about the typical “horse-trading” going on so enough votes will be there to OK a boost to the $79,500 lawmakers earn per year – and that Cuomo will sign it.

The gist of the argument for a pay raise is simple: Legislative pay hasn’t been increased in 15 years.

However, we believe that argument misses an important point: State lawmaker are still overpaid. Just because they may no longer be wildly overpaid – we’re not even looking at benefits and stipends and any other perks – doesn’t mean they deserve a raise.

Remember: These lawmakers work part-time. Many of them have other sources of income in addition to their state salary.


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