Monday, December 12, 2016

Source: ‘Significant’ Pay Hike For Lawmakers Now Unlikely

Lawmakers’ hopes of receiving a “significant” pay increase from their current $79,500 have been “dashed” according to a source with knowledge of the talks. 

The source said on Monday morning that it is increasingly unlikely lawmakers are willing to take up constitutional amendments that would broadly overhaul how state government functions: The Democratic-led Assembly remains opposed to term limits for state officials, while the Republican-controlled Senate is against limiting or banning private-sector income for state lawmakers. 

Both measures had been proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the days after a commission examining legislative pay declined to back the first salary increase for the Legislature since 1998. Cuomo’s appointees on the commission had signaled lawmakers could be in line for a more modest salary increase without taking action on the ethics-related reforms. 

Should lawmakers return to Albany this month, they could still reauthorize the pay commission to reconvene by the end of the year and recommend a salary hike, which could also see the salaries of the governor’s cabinet increase as well. 

The source said Cuomo is still hoping lawmakers will take action on a memorandum of understanding for affordable housing money, the funding of a hate crimes task force and reforms to procurement oversight. At the same time, Cuomo has signaled he hopes lawmakers take up expansion of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft in a special session.

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