Big Raise, No Vote

The Story

Everybody likes a holiday gift, and the state legislature just tied one up for itself, with a big shiny bow on top. State legislators put a rider into the budget last year establishing a pay commission whose recommendations would be automatically enacted. The commission has–unsurprisingly–recommended a hefty raise for the legislators, who are thus spared the embarrassment of voting themselves more money. The process may be illegal, however.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Disbursement: The New York State constitution explicitly requires that appropriations of money must be made through laws passed by the legislature. Read more.

  2. Paid: New York’s legislature and its governor will now be the highest paid among their colleagues across the nation. Read more.

  3. Inaction: Voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2017 authorizing legislative action to strip pensions from felonious lawmakers, but they never acted on it. Read more.

“No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

Amendment XXVII, US Constitution

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Albany’s Corruption Cauldron By Tim Hoefer (January 28, 2015)

“The federal corruption case against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has prompted more calls for reform of the legislature, which has seen more than two dozen members (and counting) leave office under ethical or criminal clouds in the past 15 years.”

And in other news...

“Sen. Chuck Schumer criticized the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Sunday for what he described as its inexcusably slow installation of federally mandated safety technology on its railroads.”