Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will push this year to give legislators pay hikes, the New York Post's Fred Dicker reports today.
Legislators haven't seen a raise since 1999. But in tough economic times statewide, the plan could be politically toxic.
What makes the subject all the more fascinating is that lawmakers have to approve their own pay hikes. Lawmakers make about $80,000 a year, plus "lulus," or extra money for chairs of committees and ranking members of committees.
And no north country lawmaker thinks they should be getting a raise.
Assemblywoman Addie Russell, D-Theresa: No. "I wouldn't vote for a pay increase at this time, just because there are so many people that are hurting. We're only one year into demonstrating that we can be a functional government. I think we have a little bit more to do to justify supporting a pay increase at this time."
Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, is also against the pay hike.
"I don't believe there's a need to raise legislators' pay," Mrs. Ritchie said. "When I went into the undertaking, I knew that the pay was, and I believe it's sufficient.
Mr. Griffo was another no.
"I've not heard such a thing," Mr. Griffo said. "I think it's inconceivable right now when you consider the circumstances. I would not support such a proposal."
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, R-Black River, was the fourth no vote.
"No, I’m not in favor of a pay raise at this time," he said. "The reason is because the state is in a financial situation that we’re in, I think it would be the wrong time to be asking for pay raises, where everybody else, we’re asking them to cut."