ALBANY, NY (WENY) — Thursday, in a special session just before the holidays, the New York State Senate and Assembly voted to increase their pay by $32,000.
The Senate voted 33-23 and the Assembly voted 81-52. The special session was called because lawmakers need to vote before Dec. 31 in order to get an increase in pay for the upcoming legislative session which starts the first week of January.
New York State Lawmakers currently make $110,000 a year. The $32,000 pay increase introduced in this bill would bring their annual salary up to $142,000, making them the highest paid lawmakers in the country.
In the special session, lawmakers also discussed limiting their outside income.
Some lawmakers were very supportive of a pay increase.
“This is a full-time job; I think people understand. And we work hard and it’s time to finally resolve the issue of pay,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who voted in favor of the bill.
While other lawmakers felt it was not justified. They highlighted that this increase in pay brings lawmakers to make double the income of the average New Yorker
“This was not only tone deaf, but really an insult to the people of New York State,” said Senator George Borrello, who voted against the bill.
Quite a few other Republican lawmakers felt similarly, voting against the bill. Local Senator Tom O’Mara voted against it.
Special session is officially adjourned and the bill will now be sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk.