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Five candidates for state Senate urge special commission to not ‘reward lawmakers for their bad behavior’ with salary hike

Glenn Blain
NY Daily News

ALBANY — Five candidates for state Senate are urging a special commission not to grant state lawmakers a pay raise until they pass stricter ethics reforms.
The five candidates, all Democrats, signed letters to the state’s Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation saying the Legislature’s failure to adopt tougher anti-corruption measures should negate any consideration of a salary hike.
“The state Legislature should not be rewarded for their bad behavior,” Democrat Adam Haber wrote in one of the letters.
Haber is a candidate for the Long Island seat being vacated by Republican Jack Martins, who is running for Congress.
Created by the Legislature, the special commission is reviewing the pay of lawmakers and top executive branch officials — including the governor — and is expected to recommend new pay levels in the coming weeks.
Adam Haber, a candidate for the Long Island seat being vacated by Republican Jack Martins, among other candidates, wrote letters expressing their issues on lawmakers’ salary hike.
Unless the Legislature votes to block them, the panel’s recommendations will automatically take effect next year.
Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif blasted the Democrats’ letters, saying the candidates have not done their homework.
“The Senate passed historic ethics reform measures this year, including a measure to take away the pension of any state lawmaker convicted of a felony,” Reif said. “We won't take a back seat to anyone when it comes to achieving true ethics reform and restoring the public trust."
Reif added that “these Senate candidates have at least two things in common. One, they are being supported by Mayor de Blasio and the radical New York City Democrats who will empower New York City at the expense of hardworking Upstate, Hudson Valley and Long Island families.”
Other candidates who wrote letters include Ryan Cronin, who is challenging Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County); Chris Eachus, who is running against Sen. William Larkin (R-Orange County); Sara Niccoli, who is taking on Sen. George Amedore (R-Schenectady); and Jim Gaughran, who is challenging Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Nassau County).
State lawmakers have not received a pay raise in 17 years and currently earn a base salary of $79,500 plus additional stipends for leadership positions.
One proposal floated by a panel member would give the governor and lawmakers a 47% pay hike, boosting the base pay for Senate and Assembly members to $116,900 a year. Gov. Cuomo’s salary would rise from $179,000 a year to $263,000, under the proposal.