A judge in Albany heard the first arguments regarding the lawsuit against the state regarding the pay commission’s decision to raise lawmakers salaries but also block outside income.
When the clock struck midnight at the beginning of this year, lawmakers saw their salaries increase to $110,000, and its set to keep increasing for the next two years. A lawsuit trying to block this got one step closer on Friday.
“So it was arguments before the court, the plaintiffs got the opportunity to argue for a preliminary injunction. The state and the comptroller were heard,” Cameron Macdonald, Executive Director of the Government Justice Center, said.
The biggest problem lawmakers are having with the salary increase is of course not the extra money, but the stipulations that came with it.
Lawmakers in 2020 will be prohibited from having outside income and extra stipends for leadership positions.
Macdonald is the lawyer spearheading the lawsuit and right now is seeking an injunction on the pay commission’s decision.
“So it would put everything back to December 31st, 2018. The stipends would go back in place regardless of what people think of those. And the salaries would go back to the way they were pending an outcome of this case.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has been very vocal about his displeasure with the pay commission and sent documents to the judge today saying he is in support of the pay raise, just none of the stipulations.
“He wants the salaries to stay in place and the court not to do anything with that and let the chips fall where they may with the other things.”
The judge is expected to come to a decision in the coming weeks about whether the pay increase will be halted while arguments continue.