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Survey Finds Few Lawmakers Earn Outside Income

A study by a reform group finds that if New York were to ban outside income for lawmakers, it would actually affect only a small number of legislators.

Common Cause examined disclosure records from all 213 state lawmakers and found that, only about one third actually claim outside income in addition to their nearly $80,000 a year salaries. Many also receive extra stipends for committee chairs or leadership posts.

The group’s Susan Lerner says a ban on outside income or even strict limits, would not be a hardship for most.

“It’s a small number of people with fairly large amounts that are really creating this problem for the body as a whole,” Lerner said.

Only 11 state lawmakers made $100,000 or more from their outside jobs. Lerner says the group found no evidence of a conflict of interest in the earnings so far. 

Both former leaders of the state legislature were convicted on multiple corruption charges in the past month in cases that focused on their misuse of outside income.