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Lawmakers' raises were fair



To the editor:

Fact check on Larry Penner's letter about legislative salaries: Numerous state employees earn more than $102,500. That's public record at www.seethroughny.net

Per the Department of Labor, the New York State average weekly wage for public and private sector workers for 2021 was $1,688.19. That comes to about $87,750 per year and is a better comparison point than the $54,500 Mr. Penner quotes.

For legislators to go from $79,500 in 1998 to $142,000 in 2023 averages out to less than a 2.5 percent increase a year. That's not excessive. That's simply cost-of-living increases. Professional public sector salaries should keep up with the cost of living.

My representatives, State Senator Leroy Comrie and Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, reside in Queens. Working in Albany requires overnight stays. Public servants that have to travel out of the downstate region on business are entitled to an expense allowance.

There will always be hot issues like rolling back the failed criminal justice reforms. That should be addressed at budget time. It has nothing to do with setting fair pay. If the voters wish to punish those who voted yes on the raises, there is an election every two years. 

Mr. Penner is very insightful on transportation issues though. Truly hope he considers running for office.

Scott Avidon


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