doc4f76a783b1628900776997-7965466
(AP Photo)

It seems like everyone who counts in Albany could get a pay bump before the year’s out.

Pay raises are basically an annual tradition for government employees.  As The Chief reports (subscription required), about 75 percent of the members of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and 67 percent of Public Employees Federation (PEF) members are getting increases from step increments and longevity bonuses, despite the state’s supposed wage freeze. (The unions say their members are still losing money due to payless furlough days and increases in health insurance premiums.) Teachers often get two raises each year, one negotiated in their contract as a “raise,” and one as a “step” increase.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver got his chamber to pass what, so far, is a one-house minimum-wage hike. (E.J. wrote on it here, here and had an op-ed in Newsday yesterday. Rus has covered the issue here, here and with this policy briefing.) Silver recently conceded the issue likely won’t pass before session officially ends next week  … but all bets are off for summer or post-election passage.

All that generosity is apparently leaving the lawmakers themselves feeling … well, drained.

They’ve been anything but secretive about their desire for a pay raise, which would be their first since 1999. The consensus around the Capitol is that there will be movement on this after this fall’s elections.

New York lawmakers are technically part-timers, meaning they can still hold outside jobs (read: make more money on top of their legislative salaries). The base salary for a state legislator is $79,500, plus stipends for leadership positions and committee chairmanships, plus a $171 daily per-diem during session.

New York’s legislative pay is the third highest nationally according to our DataBank, which among its 50+ comparative data sets, also ranks legislative spending per member.

About the Author

Tim Hoefer

Tim Hoefer is president & CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Read more by Tim Hoefer

You may also like

How a Medicaid ‘Cut’ Could Lead to More Unionization of Home Care Aides

A money-saving maneuver in the newly enacted Medicaid budget could end up increasing costs in the long term – by paving the way for more unionization of the state's burgeoning home health workforce. Read More

Albany’s New Health Insurance Tax Comes with Few Limits

The newly enacted state budget imposes a multibillion-dollar tax on health insurance without specifying who must pay how much – leaving those basic details to be decided later by the health commissioner in negotiation wit Read More

With Union Support, Lawmakers Roll Back a Nursing Home Reform Law

Nearly half of New York's nursing homes would be effectively exempted from a two-year-old minimum spending law under terms of a rollback passed by state lawmakers this week. Enacted Read More

A Breakthrough for Hospital Pricing Transparency in Albany

The murky world of hospital pricing would be exposed to more sunlight under a bill approved this week by state lawmakers. The legislation calls for the state-run employee health pla Read More

Pols Craft More Handouts for Sinking Construction Unions

New York’s construction unions, facing a decades-long decline, are employing a time-honored tactic: getting state government to stop people from competing with them. Read More

No Need to Rush Now

The passage of a state budget bill should be a thorough, transparent and democratic process that allows for ample public input and discussion. Read More

Union Rallies Long Island Pols Against NYC Kids

New York’s statewide teachers union has been cashing in political chits as it seeks to block new charter schools from opening in New York City, asking the senators and assemblymembers Read More

Hospital group features a misleading statistic in its budget testimony

During testimony on the state budget last week, a hospital industry official made an attention-grabbing but misleading claim – that New York's Medicaid payments to providers are "the worst in the United States." Read More