Published in
The Empire

New Yorkers: A Pay Raise for Politicians? No Way.

By Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

Some lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have been saying recently that lawmakers “deserve” a pay raise and have suggested setting up a commission to explore the issue.

But, a new poll by Siena College finds that voters are opposed to the idea by a two to one margin, with 67% opposed and 31% in support.  Siena’s Steve Greenberg says those surveyed like the idea of a pay hike for the governor and his top commissioners even less, with 74% against and 25% in favor.

“Voters are even more opposed to an increase in the pay of the governor,” said Greenberg. “Or an increase for commissioners of state agencies.”

Governor Cuomo has said he’s having trouble attracting top level commissioners because of the current pay strictures,  though the governor also says now is not the time for raises.

There has not been a pay increase for lawmakers, the governor or state commissioners since 1999.

The poll found the governor continues to be very popular with New Yorkers, 74% view him favorably, his highest rating ever.