Times Union | June 7, 2019 | David Lombardo
Restrictions that would have drastically curtailed private employment options for state lawmakers were struck down Friday.
The measure, which was scheduled to take effect next year, would prohibit lawmakers from holding any additional jobs with a fiduciary responsibility. The anti-corruption measure was implemented by a special compensation commission — created by the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — as a tradeoff for a $50,500 increase in annual base pay for lawmakers that began rolling out this year.
State Supreme Court Justice Christina Ryba ruled that the commission exceeded its authority by putting limits on outside income. The decision upheld the pay raise for lawmakers and agency heads, as well as the curtailing of stipends or “lulus” paid to legislative leaders.
The full decision is available below.
Cameron MacDonald, the attorney representing the four New Yorkers challenging the work of the commission, described the ruling as a “good start.”
“We continue to believe none of (these powers) should have been delegated to the commission,” MacDonald said.
He plans on conferring with his clients to determine if they want to pursue additional legal actions. The ban was also the subject of a federal suit filed last month and a challenge in state supreme court.
Nearly a quarter of state lawmakers could be forced to give up their outside employment or divest from their businesses before the end of the year if they want to hold their seats, according to an analysis by the good government group Common Cause New York.