New York legislature gives itself $32,000 raise, and seven Democrats defect on vote
The New York legislature voted to give itself a $32,000 pay raise, becoming lawmakers with the highest salary in the nation.
The companion Senate and Assembly bills will now make their way to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has said she supports the hefty hike that raises salaries to $142,000 per year. Democrats have a supermajority in the legislature.
“We’re just going to work hard and about to come back into session in January to continue trying to do the best we can for families in New York,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said after the vote Thursday.
The Senate voted 33 to 23 with the Assembly 81 to 52, giving the salary boost effective Jan. 1, 2023. Republicans vigorously opposed the bills, saying the state has been shedding jobs and businesses while crime and the cost of living are skyrocketing.
Seven “marginal” Senate Democrats who lost or barely squeaked by in the midterm elections sided with Republicans and voted no, said Republican state Sen. Anthony Palumbo.
This included John Mannion, who won by 10 votes, he said.
The legislature, which meets just six months a year, called a special session to vote on the measure. The bills were hastily drafted after new members were sworn in during the midterm elections and went live Tuesday, said state Sen. Rob Ortt, Republican leader.
NEW YORK DEMOCRATS RUSH THROUGH BILL TO GIVE THEMSELVES HUGE PAY INCREASE
“Today’s ‘Special Session’ was called for the solitary purpose of making New York lawmakers the highest paid state legislators in the nation,” Palumbo said.
“This is at a time when families and businesses are struggling to make ends meet due to historic inflation and high food and energy costs. Instead of pay raises, lawmakers’ focus should have been on reducing these burdens and making needed changes to our broken criminal justice system,” Palumbo said.
Palumbo said the Democrats’ timing of the bill was intentional.
“They were thinking, ‘It’s not going to be well received, want to time it around Christmas so it will be drowned out with other negative news over a congressional spending bill,'” he added.
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Residents began fleeing blue states during the pandemic, settling in the more open southern red states. And New York lost 319,020, more people than any other state from April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, MarketWatch reported.