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Legal challenge to salary commission filed

Dec 14, 2018 2:30 pm
David Lombardo is reporting for Capitol Confidential the constitutionality of the special committee responsible for awarding state legislators a salary increase is being challenged in court. A complaint was filed in state Supreme Court in Albany County December 14, by the Government Justice Center, a conservative, non-profit law center. In that filing the center argues the process was flawed from the beginning because state legislators did not have the authority to delegate control of their salaries. “Rather than face the voters after implementing their own compensation decision, members of the Legislature pushed their responsibility on to a committee,” reads the complaint. “Such a major policy decision should have been made by members of the Senate and Assembly in legislation as required by the [state] constitution.” The complaint also alleges the compensation committee exceeded its legal authority by imposing outside income limitations, and violated the state’s open meeting law with the drafting of its final report. The center is asking the court to nullify the committee's final report and to order the state not to implement the 64 percent pay raises. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Assembly member Michael Fitzpatrick, a Long Island Republican; Robert Arrigo, and David Buchyn from Saratoga County; and Bronx resident Roxanne Delgado, who spoke out against the committee at one of its public hearings. Read the full story, and the complaint, at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.