Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie claimed today that lawmakers deserve a raise because they’ve never worked harder.
Ignoring the corruption scandals swirling around Albany, Heastie argued in a letter to the Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation that “the complexity and demands” of a legislator’s job “have dramatically increased.”
He pointed out that legislators’ base salary of $79,500 is now worth $53,997 in real purchasing power because there hasn’t been a pay hike since 1999.
Heastie didn’t mention ethics reform, which has been a point of contention between lawmakers, who claim they passed meaningful changes, and critics who contend they haven’t done enough.
The speaker, a Bronx Democrat, also did not recommend a specific new salary, merely pointing to a rate of inflation of about 2 percent a year.
But he noted that the current salary is modest at best for people living in and around the five boroughs.
If salaries aren’t adjusted, Heastie said only inexperienced, retired, or independently wealthy people would be willing to take the job.
Hmmm... inexperienced means that there wouldn't be decades-long incumbency, retired means they may actually show up for work and independently wealthy means they likely won't take bribes. I think I'll stick with no raises as the way to go.