Saturday, September 24, 2011

State lawmaker pumped up his pension

New York: Adding stipends

James Tedisco's stint from November 2005 to April 2009 as Republican leader in the New York State Assembly has proved to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tedisco not only improved his $79,500 legislative pay by taking on the role of minority leader with its $114,000 salary, but he ensured that his legislative pension will be based on the higher salary.

If he were to retire this year, Tedisco would get an $82,080 pension, state records indicate.

A pension based only on the standard legislative salary would pay Tedisco $57,240 -- nearly $25,000 less per year.

Most states pay stipends to a handful of legislative leaders. In New York, 164 of 212 legislators received stipends last year, costing taxpayers $2.5 million.

Taxpayers will pay again when the legislators retire because all 164 of them, like Tedisco, will get richer pensions because of the stipends they are receiving now.