Our state legislators sure don’t need a raise
If people believe our economically challenged state legislators need a pay raise for what has essentially morphed into what in many instances has become a rubber-stamping public relations job, they should take the time to acquaint themselves with some information concerning their part-time salaries and extra pay for committee assignments (lulus), not to mention health care and pension benefits not addressed here.
All state legislators receive the same annual salary of $79,500 plus $172 per day for lodging and food while the Legislature is in session. Also, there is reimbursement for transportation expenses between home and Albany. From here, just to keep the data manageable, I will focus on our own local state legislators.
State Sen. Patrick Gallivan is also taking his New York State pension from other positions he has held. Combined with his benefits and lulus, he is pulling in a total taxpayer-funded annual income of $146,436.
Of the remaining local state senators, Mike Ranzenhofer tops out the list at $17,599 in expenses. He also has the largest lulu at $15,000.
On the Assembly side, Robin Schimminger tops the chart at $115,542. He has $20,119 in expenses, more than any other Western New York legislator in either house.
Close behind him is Jane Corwin, someone of reputed great personal wealth, and whose district is geographically closest to Albany. She accumulated $16,915, the third-highest amount of expenses, and also managed to snag the biggest local lulu in the amount of $18,135. After Gallivan and Schimminger, Corwin was the overall third highest in total pay at $114,549.
Ray Walter, the fourth overall total pay leader, has expenses of $17,114.
Sean Ryan appears to be the best bargain for the taxpayers – he is without a lulu – and the lowest of the Western New York delegation at $90,142.
Edward F. McKee