GOV PUTS KIBOSH ON RAISES FOR STATE POLS
By KENNETH LOVETT, NY Post
March 27, 2008 -- ALBANY - Gov. Paterson yesterday gave a thumbs-down to raising state lawmakers' pay, saying the timing isn't right, given the worsening economy.
"I don't think the state can really afford to do very much for anyone, least of all legislators, right now," Paterson said.
Legislators, whose base pay is $79,500, have gone without a raise for about a decade.
Lawmakers, particularly Assembly Democrats, have been pushing for an increase since last year.
A number of Assembly Democrats expressed surprise at Paterson's comment, noting they will not be eligible for a raise until 2011, at the earliest, if it doesn't get done this year.
That's because a sitting Legislature cannot give itself a raise.
"He used to be one of us," said Assemblyman Michael Benjamin (D-Bronx), noting Paterson was a state senator for two decades.
Therefore, he knows how much you don't deserve a raise, Mike.