Byrne Comments on Albany’s Cash Grab

Posted: December 18, 2018

A Statement from Assemblyman Kevin Byrne on “Pay Raise Committee” Recommendations

“I knew what the salary was when I first sought election to the New York State Assembly in 2016, and I knew what the salary was during my re-election this year. I opposed a pay raise then and oppose a pay raise today. I still believe the compensation for the part-time legislature is adequate and a pay raise should be delayed until New York improves its tax and business climate.

I voted no on the 2018 omnibus budget bill that created the “pay raise committee” and was criticized for that particular vote in this past election.

Despite my opposition, I elected to work with Democratic Assemblyman (now Senator-Elect) James Skoufis to request that the committee alter its focus and use its power to close an egregious double-dipping loophole exclusive for state lawmakers. Instead, the committee provided other recommendations which I believe were outside its scope. The committee’s recommendations will only propel the development of career politicians, and make life as a citizen legislator nearly impossible. 

Yes, I gave up my outside income when first elected, but that was a personal choice. Legislators should still have the ability to earn income outside of their elected offices so long as it is free of conflict and properly disclosed.

Real ethics reform is still very much needed in Albany, but it is the legislature that should act, not this politically appointed committee. 

If the legislature is called back to vote on a pay raise, I will vote no.”