From the Daily News:
It really pays to be a part-time staffer in the state Legislature.
In one of Albany’s dirty little secrets, some of the Legislature’s highest-paid employees aren’t required to work anywhere near full-time hours — but pull in salaries and benefits as if they did.
These workers — 345 in the state Senate, 271 in the Assembly — enjoy a special annual designation that lowers the mandatory number of hours they must work each week, compared with 35-hour weeks most employees put in.
The advantage, little known to the taxpaying public, is that having fewer required work-hours can free up these staffers to do campaign work that legally can’t be done while punched in on the state clock, insiders say. Or, in other cases, the workers are able to focus on their nongovernment side jobs.
“How does that benefit the public?” questioned Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/New York.
“It raises questions as to whether this is a scheme to subsidize political activities on the taxpayers’ dime,” she added.
Of the 345 Senate staffers who get the special designation, 267 work for the GOP majority, and 78 toil for Democrats, according to the latest payroll records. Some 56 of the Senate “part-timers” take home at least $50,000 — and seven of them make more than $100,000.