One of the more controversial proposals being floated in Albany is the idea of giving all 212 (soon to be 213) lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly a pay raise.
The New York Post‘s Fred Dicker reported the amount of a potential raise as $100,000, a substantial jump from the lawmakers’ current base salary of $79,500.
While the Governor has said there is no deal on a pay raise, even a slight whiff of the possibility that there could be one stirs up controversy, based in part on the idea that lawmakers shouldn’t increase their own salaries during the nationwide recession. The opposition isn’t necessarily rooted in the actual costs of the proposed increase. So how much would it cost?
The state’s total budget this year was $132.5 billion and lawmakers’ salaries cost $19.7 million, a figure that includes their leadership stipends, also known as “lulus” (listed below).
A hypothetical pay raise to $100,000 for 212 lawmakers plus an additional senator would add $4,446,000 every year to the state’s budget.
It’s not so much in the grand scheme of a $132.5 billion budget, but as Hank Sheinkopf told the Times-Union,
“It’s not generally a good idea to do in an election year and a recession. No good can come from it,” Sheinkopf said.
The last time the lawmakers gave themselves a raise was in 1999.
On Dicker’s radio program this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he understood where lawmakers were coming from:
Cuomo on legsltve raises “When you say to someone you haven’t gotten a raise in over a decade, its a staggering point, I understnd their pt”
— Danny Hakim (@dannyhakim) June 22, 2012
Lulu lists via Auburn Citizen’s Robert Harding
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