We can only speculate why Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins are in breach of a state law they supported that required both to appoint one person each to the Commission on Legislative, Judicial & Executive Compensation by June 1 this year.
Perhaps they are embarrassed about there being another pay raise commission just months after a Heastie-concocted ad hoc panel granted lawmakers a 38% salary hike this year, while also sharply limiting outside pay.
Whatever the reason, neither Heastie nor Stewart-Cousins have made their picks. And it’s been four months. (The governor and chief judge have chosen five panel members already.)
The commission has only until Dec. 31 to evaluate salaries for the judiciary, conduct public hearings and issue a report with binding recommendations. Then next year, as prescribed by law, it’s supposed to decide on raises for legislators and statewide elected officials next year.
Oops. Legislators and statewide electeds already got their payday. Does that mean Heastie and Stewart-Cousins will ignore the law and leave the judges out in the cold?