Today is the last meeting of a special panel on state legislators’ pay. Controller Tom DiNapoli, city Controller Scott Stringer and former state and city Controllers Carl McCall and Bill Thompson must avoid making a historic mistake: authorizing a huge raise without demanding essential reforms.
If the men make this fateful error, it will add insult to injury that they could do so in a secret, closed session. That’s in violation of state law. It’s also required that any plan discussed be published ahead of time; that hasn’t happened either.
Now, let’s talk dollars and nonsense: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who wrote the law creating the panel, is suddenly claiming it’s not kosher to link lawmakers’ salaries to other policy changes. That’s rich coming from an Albany boss, where horsetrading is everything.
But it’s an especially egregious complaint given that this proposed linkage is between directly related items: base salaries, on the one hand, and added cash flowing into members’ pockets, on the other: outside income and extra payments called lulus.
Heck, in the law authorizing the panel, Heastie explicitly gave the body power to revise lulus — hoping they would boost them.