Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

$142,000 a year: The expected new salary for state lawmakers

Hello. It’s Thursday. We’ll find out why the State Senate and Assembly will meet today in an unusual special session. We’ll also see why some New Yorkers say race shapes criticism of Mayor Eric Adams.

State lawmakers are meeting in Albany today to give each other a raise. If only a pay raise was so easy for everyone. The bill before lawmakers, who are already receiving six-figure base salaries for a planned five-month session in Albany, would raise their salaries to about twice the median family income in the United States and just over five times what lawmakers in neighboring Connecticut are making. I asked my colleague Jesse McKinley for details.

How are New York lawmakers paid compared to other state lawmakers?

Good enough. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New York legislators rank second in the nation in base salaries, thanks to a raise they received in 2018. California, which has a history of beating New York in all sorts of categories (population, economic performance, number of professional baseball teams) is No. 1 at the moment.

Won’t that make New York lawmakers the highest paid in the country?

Yes, with Thursday’s pay hike, Albany’s 213 lawmakers will now have the highest base salary in the nation: $142,000 a year, up from $110,000 a year now. California state legislators will still bring in $119,702 a year.

What’s the catch?

The concession made by lawmakers to get this $32,000 increase is that they will agree to a $35,000 cap on outside revenue, which good government groups have long called for (although some would like an even lower threshold for these non-governmental revenues).

The concern is the potential for corruption and conflicts of interest that could arise, for example, from working in a law firm. Legislative leaders say it’s a big step toward erasing Albany’s well-deserved reputation for money-driven malfeasance. But the $35,000 limit won’t take effect until 2025, unlike the increase, which will take effect Jan. 1.

Why did they go back to Albany for a day just to give themselves a raise?

Albany likes to leave things until the last minute, including its budgets, which were once chronically late and now only periodically late.

The most relevant answer, however, is that the bill authorizing the increase must be approved before the start of the new session of the legislature in January. Legislators cannot vote themselves an increase that takes effect during the same session as the vote. It’s written in the state constitution. Obviously, time is running out by January – hence a lot of people descending on the capital for a one day session only.

Will Governor Kathy Hochul sign the bill increasing their compensation? What happens if she decides not to sign it?

The governor did not explicitly say she would sign the bill to raise lawmakers’ salaries, but she has expressed support for such a raise in the past. Moreover, it seems unlikely to me that lawmakers will return to Albany without an implicit understanding that Hochul — a Democrat, like the leaders who control both houses of the legislature — is cool with higher salaries.

If she decided not to sign the bill, I suspect she would receive very few Christmas presents from legislative leaders this year.

What was the reaction?

Giving yourself a raise is always a bad look for politicians, though many outside groups agree it’s not unjustified. Republicans blasted the increase – and its timing during a “special session” – and some watchdog groups said it doesn’t go far enough to limit outside revenue.

But legislative leaders are sticking to it, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “I don’t think there’s enough money in the world,” he said recently, “that could compensate you for being away from your families.”


Be prepared for gusty winds and persistent rain throughout the evening. Times will be stable in the low to mid 50s.

The end of the year is in sight – the end of Mayor Eric Adams’ first year in office. It has been a difficult 12 months during which he has faced the challenge of getting the city past the pandemic, reinvigorating a weakened economy and tempering heightened fears of crime.

Some New Yorkers questioned whether he had moved fast enough to solve intractable problems like homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. Complaints have also focused on his hiring practices, his response to the crisis at the Rikers Island prison complex and his handling of the influx of migrants from Texas.

But my colleagues Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons write that several black leaders worry that the mayor’s criticism has been shaped by race. They suggest implicit racism undermined Mayor David Dinkins, the city’s first black mayor, a generation ago, and could undermine Adams now.

Adams himself said he was used to criticism, but when some people “look at these two black mayors, Dinkins and my role now, there are some who wish we failed”.

“Look at all the mayors,” he said. “Dinkins and I are the only two mayors people talk to about our nights out. They used to say he had a tuxedo in his car all the time because he was going to different galas and balls and so on. This is the role of the mayor.

Adams’ allies may be hoping to deter critics at a time when his popularity appears to be waning: In a recent Siena College poll, 50% of city voters viewed him favorably and 35% unfavorably.

Adams, a former police captain, sought to have a better relationship with the police than Dinkins: he brought back a controversial undercover police unit. He also sent waves of officers to fight crime on the subway and protected police funding in his budget while often standing alongside officers accused of misconduct.

Adams said he learned two lessons from Dinkins’ loss to Rudolph Giuliani in 1993: Focus on “real job changes” and don’t let your political coalition erode. He made sure his base felt heard after winning mayor with a coalition of black and Latino voters and moderates outside Manhattan.

“My secret sauce is everyday working-class families,” he said, adding that he met some of those families during a recent visit to the Rockaways in Queens. “They’re just not complicated. They just want a safe place to raise their children and family. They are my parents.


Dear Diary:

“Rock, rock, rock,” I heard a voice repeat. “Rock, rock, rock.”

I was walking up a trail leading to the Ramble in Central Park when I came across the owner of the voice: a tall, thin man with a twist of silver hair over one eye.

I waited, not wanting to interrupt what he was doing.

“Rock, rock, rock,” he repeated in a monotonous voice. “Rock, rock, rock.”

Two minutes later, a northern cardinal descended from a tree, landed on a large flat rock, and did the hokey pokey, jumping timidly toward the middle of the rock.

That’s when I noticed a single peanut in the shell lying there. The Cardinal wondered how to lift the nut. After finally securing it, the bird flew away.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button