A new poll finds New Yorkers don’t want legislators to gain a pay raise if they agree to ethics reforms by the end of the year.
The Siena College poll finds that 63% of New Yorkers oppose a pay raise for state lawmakers, who earn a base salary of nearly $80,000 a year for what is technically a part time job. Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg says voters also say, even though they would like to see reform measures as well as other issue resolved, they still don’t think legislators should be allowed to trade agreements on these items for more pay.
It’s looking less and less likely that state Senators and Assemblymembers will get a pay raise as a holiday present this year, but Governor Cuomo and lawmakers still have a number of issues they need to resolve before the year ends, ranging from the siting of gambling casinos to how to close a Thruway deficit and whether to go ahead with hydrofracking.
A state panel is examining whether workers whose income is supplemented by tips should receive an increase in the minimum wage. The wage board, appointed by Governor Cuomo, has held hearings and will make a decision early next year.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the $5 billion dollar plus pot of money due to settlements with banks and other financial institutions over alleged wrongdoing in the Wall Street crash should not be looked at as a budget surplus.
“I wouldn’t call it a surplus,” Di Napoli said. “It’s really more a windfall.”
And so, the Comptroller says, it should not be used for recurring expenses, like tax cuts or increased school aid, as some legislators have suggested.