In recent weeks, Governor Eliot Spitzer and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have expressed willingness to consider pay raises for all State Legislators this year. At a time when New York has a budget deficit of $4 billion, this issue should not be a priority.
In fact, many New Yorkers are currently struggling to make ends meet. Therefore, it is inappropriate for us, as elected representatives, to unilaterally grant ourselves a $20,000 per year salary increase. Our salaries are already the third-highest in the nation, and remember, this is part-time employment.
This is certainly not the way to gain public trust. An increase of this size would cost taxpayers more than $4 million per year. Is this any way to repay the men and women who depend upon us to be their voice in state government?