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Poll finds NYers are scrooges when it comes to pay raise for state lawmakers

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A new poll finds New Yorkers don’t want legislators to gain a pay raise if they agree to ethics reforms by the end of the year.

The Siena College poll finds that 63 percent of New Yorkers oppose a pay raise for state lawmakers, who earn a base salary of nearly $80,000 a year for what is technically a part-time job. 

Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg says voters also say, even though they would like to see reform measures as well as other issue resolved, they still don’t think legislators should be allowed to trade agreements on these items for more pay.

“Do not trade for a pay raise for yourself,” Greenberg says voters are saying to lawmakers. “Because we don’t want to see you get a pay raise.”  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said hopes are dimming for a special session before December 31 to consider a pay raise, because some state Senators have not yet agreed to the ethics reforms.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.