It's the season of giving, and New York State lawmakers are adding a special request this year held near and dear to their wallets.
A pay raise for state lawmakers has languished in politics for years in Albany, and it's becoming an increasing bone of contention for legislators.
The last pay raise was part of a packaged deal: Lawmakers got their salary hike, but then-Governor George Pataki got them to agree to an expansion of charter schools, and a provision that a late budget would mean they forgo their pay. But this time around a commission will determine whether lawmakers get their salary bump.
"I felt it was inappropriate to package in the way it was done. So I think this process where you have a commission that's independent of the Legislature coming up with recommendations, hopefully it will be a more thoughtful process than the last time we went through it," said Tom DiNapoli, (D) NYS comptroller.
Nevertheless, politics is still at play with the pay commission, which has been facing calls to have lawmakers also ban or limit the amount of money they can earn outside of state government.
"Everyone is only asking for reforms on the Legislature. If you're asking for reforms in exchange for compensation, you can do that to anybody who is captured under this law. But I get it, I'm used to it, the Legislature is always the dog you kick," said Carl Heastie, (D) Assembly speaker.
The pay commission will meet for the last time on Thursday and is due to make its final report next Monday.