Remember The Pay Raises When Its Time To Go Vote

We can’t think of many people who will get a 40 percent raise this year.

Part of the reason most businesses can’t afford to give their workers such pay raises is because of state policies that can make running a business in New York state a real hassle — policies espoused by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Did we mention that Cuomo, as part of a deal included in the state budget, will get a 40 percent raise over the next three years from $200,000 to $250,000 in 2021. At least raises for the governor and lieutenant governor were approved by the legislature. A pay commission recommended in December that state legislators’ salaries increase from $79,500 to $130,000 over a three-year period.

It’s good to be the king.

It’s also a good time to be a bunch of hypocrites. The same governor and legislators who cried poverty throughout the budget process while wailing about declining income tax receipts caused by President Trump’s 2017 tax bill have found a way to fatten their wallets. High needs, urban schools like Jamestown still don’t have enough money to do the things they need to do, infrastructure is still crumbling and Upstate New York is still hemorrhaging population, but legislators and the governor have somehow earned a pay raise. The same legislators who bungled the Amazon headquarters deal in Long Island City and the same governor who has seen aides sentenced to prison for improperly using your tax dollars are getting more money in their checks. It is completely and utterly ridiculous. Voters should remember this bunch of hooey in two years when state legislative offices are up for grabs again, though voters will have to have a really long memory in Cuomo’s case since he doesn’t run for office again for four years.

Remember this tidbit, too. Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, is part of a group of lawmakers suing the state over the legislative pay raises alleging that the raises were given unconstitutionally. Goodell voted against creating the commission that granted the pay raises and called for a special legislative session to vote the raises down. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie never called the special session.

Cuomo and many in the state Legislature will gladly take your money. Goodell is trying to give it back.

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