Governor Andrew Cuomo has made its clear that his appointees to the legislative pay commission can control whether or not state lawmakers receive a pay increase.
"You will need my appointees and judicial appointees to approve it," he said.
The Commission held several meetings this year and is expected to deliver its report in November, safely after state lawmakers stand for re-election.
But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says that was never part of the agreement. In a statement, Heastie says, "The idea behind the commission was to determine administrative, legislative and statewide elected salaries devoid of any political considerations or agendas. Unfortunately, counter to the purpose of the Commission, there are some who have tried to politicize this process by suggesting legislators testify or trade legislation for a pay increase."
Heastie went on to say Cuomo's budget director recently wrote a letter to the Commission explaining why an increase is necessary for his commissioners. Heastie says he, too, will write a letter on behalf of his legislators. which holds everyone to the same standard.