ALBANY – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, like other state lawmakers, may not have gotten a raise from his government job since 1999, but his outside income soared in 2013, according to financial disclosure forms released by the state Wednesday.
Silver, a Democrat long criticized by business groups for blocking tort reform measures at the Capitol, reported earning between $650,000 and $750,000 in 2013 at the Manhattan trial law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg. That is up from the $350,000 to $450,000 he reported earning in his post as “of counsel’’ to the firm the prior year.
Lawmakers are required to make annual financial disclosure statements to the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics, though their outside income – either from jobs or investments – are reported in a dollar range not a specific number.
Silver’s outside salary income, which together with investment and other income top out at about $1 million, is in addition to his state salary of $121,000. State lawmakers make a base pay of $79,500, but then get stipends for various leadership and committee posts.
Silver’s financial disclosure form states that he is engaged in the general practice of law with an emphasis on “representation of individual clients and personal injury actions’’ and “of counsel’’ work at the Manhattan firm.
Over in the Senate, the outside salaries of the co-leaders in that chamber did not approach the level made by Silver.
Sen. Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, reported an outside salary in 2013 of between $150,000 and $250,000 with the Nassau County law firm of Ruskin, Moscou and Faltischek, his disclosure report states. That is the same range Skelos reported in 2012.
Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, reported making between $75,000 and $100,000 in 2013 with the Bronx law firm of Klein, Calderon and Santucci, where he is a partner. He reported making up to $40,000 representing clients outside his law firm’s work.
Information about all lawmakers and their outside incomes and investments can be seen at www.jcope.ny.gov.
The disclosure forms were actually filed by lawmakers in mid-May, though not made public until Wednesday. The Legislature ended its 2014 session two weeks ago.