WXXI AM News

Connections: Should New York State Lawmakers Get A Pay Raise?

Oct 17, 2016

Should New York State lawmakers be granted a pay raise? The question is not as simple as it may seem.

State lawmakers have not received a salary increase since 1999, and now an Albany commission is considering a proposal to raise their pay by up to 47%. If the salary increase were approved, the base pay of $79,500 a year for legislators would increase to about $113,000 a year, if the rising consumer price index over the past 17 years is factored in.

The idea for the increase has been met with harsh criticism, especially after the wave of corruption charges against dozens of senators and Assembly members. But, government reform groups are in favor of the pay raise, as long as it is accompanied by reforms -- including banning or severely restricting outside income (which factored into the corruption convictions of two former legislative leaders), and eliminating extra stipends for committee chairs and leadership posts. We break down the details with our guests: