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Pay Raise For New York Lawmakers Becomes Campaign Issue

A potential raise for New York state lawmakers has become a campaign issue in this fall's elections, with many challengers saying lawmakers don't deserve more money following a wave of corruption arrests.

An appointed commission is now considering whether to recommend an increase for legislators, whose $79,500-a-year salary has stayed flat since 1998. Some lawmakers, particularly from New York City, say a raise is needed to keep up with the cost of living. A decision is expected shortly after the election, and any increase will take effect automatically unless lawmakers vote to block it.

Several candidates challenging incumbents are blasting the idea of an increase, noting that lawmakers have done little to address widespread corruption that has seen many lawmakers leave office facing allegations of misconduct.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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