As some New York’s state legislators talk about holding a special session this month to give themselves a raise, a review of payroll data shows that more than three-quarters of them already earn more than their $79,500 base salary.

Stipends can push legislators’ salaries over six figures. New York’s base salary for part-time lawmakers is already greater than 47 other states, only California and Pennsylvania are higher.

Of the seven state senators and Assembly members who represent parts of Oneida County, only one did not receive extra pay in 2013, the most recent full year for which legislative pay data are available. The other six six were paid between $89,000 and $97,500. All seven were reelected last month and will start new terms in January.

The extra pay consists of annual stipends issued to legislators who hold committee posts or other leadership titles. The payments range from $9,000 to $41,500.

Nearly five out of six senators were paid more than $90,000 in 2013, including 17 who were paid more than $100,000, according to a report released reentry by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative organization. The center analyzed data compiled by the state comptroller’s office. More than two thirds of the members of the Assembly received a stipend, with 104 Assembly members collecting them in 2013. More than half of Assembly members were paid more than $90,000, including 11 who were paid more than $100,000.

The last pay hike for state legislators was was adopted in 1998 and took effect in 1999. Because state law doesn’t allow a sitting legislature to give itself a raise, lawmakers must act before the end of the year or else have to wait another two years.

Here’s a look at base pay and stipends received by Oneida County’s five Assembly members:

— Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-117, Black River: Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $9,000; total pay, $88,500.

— Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica — Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $0; total pay, $79,500.

—Marc W. Butler, R-118, Newport: Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $18,000; total pay, $97,500.

— William D. Magee, D-121, Nelson: Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $12,500; total pay, $92,000.

— Claudia L. Tenney, R-101, New Hartford: Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $9,500; total pay, $89,000.

Here’s a look at base pay and stipends received by Oneida County’s two senators:

— Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome: Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $15,000; total pay, $94,500.

— David J. Valesky, D-53, Oneida: Member pay: $79,500; other pay, $12,500; total pay, $92,000.

The highest paid state legislator in 2013 was Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The Manhattan Democrat received $122,469, reports the Empire Center.

Besides stipends, legislators also receive allowances for expenses when they are in Albany for official business. The daily rate is $172 for a full day, including overnight, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There’s also a partial day rate of $61.

© 2014 Rome Sentinel

You may also like

State’s Growing Budget Hole Threatens NYC Jobs and Aid as Congress Takes a Holiday

“The biggest problem for the state is the enormous, recurring structural budget gap starting next year and into the future,” said E.J. McMahon of the conservative-leaning Empire Center. “Cuomo clearly hopes that starting in 2021, (Democratic presidential candidate Joseph) Biden and a Democratic Congress will provide states and local government a couple of year’s worth of added stimulus. Read More

How Andrew Cuomo became ‘maybe the most powerful governor’ in U.S.

Ed McKinley ALBANY — When the New York Constitution was reorganized nearly 100 years ago to give the governor more power over the budget process,  noted there was a risk of making “the governor a czar." M Read More

Study disputes Cuomo on Trump tax package; experts say it’s complicated

Michael Gormley ALBANY — A new study by a conservative think tank says President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law gave most New Yorkers a tax cut, even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo insists on repealing the measure because he says it will cost New Yo Read More

Empire Center sues Department of Health over nursing home records

Johan Sheridan ALBANY, N.Y. () — The Empire Center filed a  against the state Department of Health on Friday. “This case isn’t about assigning blame or embarrassing political leaders,” said Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s Read More

Good news: That New York pork isn’t going out the door after all

The Empire Center first reported Tuesday that grants — 226 of them, totaling $46 million, to recipients selected by the governor and individual state lawmakers — seemed to still be going ahead. Read More

New York Lawmakers Seek Independent Probe of Nursing-Home Coronavirus Deaths

With lingering questions about how the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health. Read More

Policy analyst: Cuomo wrong to write-off nursing home criticism as political conspiracy

“The importance of discussing this and getting the true facts out is to understand what did and didn’t happen so we can learn from it in case this happens again,” Hammond said. Read More

EDITORIAL: Nursing home report requires a second opinion

No doubt, the Health Department and the governor would like this report to be the final word on the subject. But if it’s all the same with them, we’d still like a truly independent review. Read More