Cuomo, law­mak­ers con­sider spe­cial ses­sion on pay hike

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES -

New York law­mak­ers could be re­turn­ing to Al­bany for a spe­cial ses­sion fo­cused on a leg­isla­tive pay hike.

A spokesman for Gov. An­drew Cuomo said Wed­nes­day night that the Demo­cratic gover­nor and top law­mak­ers are dis­cussing con­ven­ing a ses­sion be­fore year’s end. Cuomo’s spokesman said that while law­mak­ers want a raise, Cuomo wants them to con­sider gov­ern­ment ethics re­forms and fund­ing for a new hate crimes task force.

“The leg­is­la­tors are clearly in­ter­ested in re­turn­ing to reau­tho­rize a Pay Com­mis­sion which would need to act by the De­cem­ber 31st dead­line if the leg­is­la­tors will re­ceive any pay raise,” spokesman Rich Az­zopardi said in a state­ment emailed to re­porters. “The Gover­nor is most in­ter­ested in hav­ing the peo­ple’s business at­tended to and be­lieves if there is to be a spe­cial ses­sion the leg­is­la­tors should do more than merely reau­tho­rize a com­mit­tee to con­sider their pay raise.”

Law­mak­ers now make $79,500 and haven’t had a raise in nearly two decades. A state com­mis­sion re­cently balked at au­tho­riz­ing an in­crease. Law­mak­ers have un­til the end of the year to vote to give the com­mis­sion more time to re­con­sider if any pay raise is to take ef­fect next year.

Demo­cratic As­sem­bly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx con­firmed the dis­cus­sions Wed­nes­day but said it would be “wildly in­ap­pro­pri­ate” for law­mak­ers to pass Cuomo’s pro­pos­als in or­der to se­cure a raise.

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