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January 20, 2015- The NYT reports that Governor Cuomo will form a new anti-corruption commission to specifically address the scandals plaguing Speaker Sheldon Silver. It will look into restricting the pay that state lawmakers earn from private jobs.
“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, never one to shy away from a round of gamesmanship with the Legislature, announced plans on Monday to establish a commission to study, and possibly raise, the pay of state politicians. The downside for the lawmakers: The same commission has been given the task of creating restrictions on the often lucrative outside income they earn.
New York State legislators, who receive a base salary of $79,500 for what is classified as a part-time job, have not received a pay increase since 1999.
One of the most contentious issues the commission will tackle involves the outside income politicians in Albany make, often from law firms with clients who have business before the state. The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, managed to earn more than $650,000 last year from outside legal work. Yet Mr. Silver, like the many other lawmakers who hold outside jobs, is not required to reveal much more than the source of his extracurricular income.
Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to Mr. Silver by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City.”