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One State Legislator Says Pay Raises Are Coming

3:54 PM, Jul 11, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Pay Raises?

Corfu, N.Y. - For the past 14 years, Dan Burling has been a state assemblyman from Warsaw.

He's chosen not to run for re-election.

And that gave him the freedom last month in his farewell remarks to his colleagues to speak about something taboo these days in Albany - pay raises for legislators.

"Certainly the people of New York state are well served, and I will be back (after election day) to vote for your pay raise," said Burling to an ovation on the floor of the Assembly.

Scott Brown: "Why do you think you got a standing ovation?"

Assemblyman Dan Burling: "Well because I actually stood up and said what a lot of people were thinking."

Just listen to how carefully state leaders have been when asked about the possibility of legislators voting themselves a pay raise this year.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' office says there have been "no discussions" about a pay raise.

But Assembly Speaker Silver's office says there have been "no formal discussions."

And Governor Cuomo says there have been "no detailed discussions."

State lawmakers already have the third highest base salary in the country at $79,500 a year.

And most make more than that thanks to various appointments by their leaders.

Burling for instance gets an extra $15,000 a year as Deputy Majority Whip bringing his actual salary to $94,500 a year.

Senator Tim Kennedy gets an extra $9,000 as the ranking minority member on the Agricultural Committee

And Senator George Maziarz gets an extra $34,000 a year as the number three person in the senate.

Burling believes that by raising legislators pay, you'll attract better caliber people to run for the senate and assembly.

Scott Brown: "Isn't $90,000 or $95,000 or $100,000 a year pretty good pay for legislators?"

Assemblyman Dan Burling: "I think if you look at the comparison for pay in my district where the average salary is maybe $45,000 or $50,000 a year that does sound like a lot of money, but mind you we're running a $140 billion industry here in New York state and to get qualified people to the legislature, who are not lawyers and not professional politicians I think they have to be compensated fairly."

Scott Brown: "Why not have the vote before election so legislators have to run on that?"

Assemblyman Dan Burling: "Realistically, you can't do that politically because of the damage that would cause."

Scott Brown: "But shouldn't legislators, if they're going to vote themselves a pay raise, have to run on that and face the people as opposed to doing that in December?"

Assemblyman Dan Burling: "I would see no fault with that. To be very honest with you if I were running for re-election, I'd be perfectly willing to run with that."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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