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Raise pay for legislators or the minumum wage?

Nov 27, 2014 12:03 am
Matthew Hamilton reports in Capitol Confidential that community, faith, and labor advocates were in Albany at the Capitol Nov. 25 to call on legislators to raise the minimum wage in a pre-2015 session, as discussion of a pay raise for legislators is also being discussed. "While the minimum wage discussion isn’t anything new, talk has run rampant since Election Day that legislators could vote to raise their own pay before session starts up in January. That, the advocates say, would be unacceptable without politicians helping their constituents, too," Hamilton wrote in the story. Locally, Assemblymember Pete Lopez, who represents Greene and Schoharie counties, and parts of Ulster and Columbia County, said he would vote against a pay raise for himself. [audio mp3="http://newsroom.wgxc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/PeteLopez_ONPAYRAISES_CairoLibrary_WGXC_WaveFarm_20141120.mp3"]PLAY AUDIO[/audio] "My belief is its all voluntary, if you want to be in the position you're in, if you don't want to, if it doesn't pay enough, find something else [to do]," Lopez told WGXC at the Cairo Library Golden Jubilee on Nov. 20. Lopez said he would favor indexing legislator pay raises and the minimum wage to inflation. The state’s minimum wage is set to rise to $8.75 on Dec. 31. Legislators currently make a base salary of $79,500, which doesn’t include per diems — worth $172 per day — and other covered expenses, and averages out to $38.22 per hour if legislators worked 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.