I don’t care that the members of the NY State Legislature aren’t getting paid since they missed the April 1st deadline for passing a state budget. I really do not care.
When they finally do pass a budget, these legislators will receive the entire amount of their paychecks–dating back until April 1st. If the state permanently docked the pay of state legislators, giving them a pay cut for every day without a budget, perhaps the back benchers would grow a spine and overthrow the tyranny of “three men in a room.”
NY state legislators are supposed to be part-time–yet they receive base pay of $79,000/year plus stipends for room, board, committee chairs (lulus). Many members make well over $120,000/year. Some freely admit that this is their only job–good work if you can get it–98% re-election rates, stature in the community and not much work at all if you aren’t one of the anointed three men.
By contrast, my organization has lost 37% of its state grant (if the current agreements hold) and many other non-profits have lost even more. Our organization has lost two out of its five paid staff and have not given out raises in nearly 15 years. The state program through which we receive our grant leverages 11 times the money we’re given by the state. Our overall grants are now $55,000–a fraction of the cost of a state bureaucrat.
To repeat–I do not care that the NY State legislators aren’t getting paid. I do not care if any of them ever gets paid ever again. I just don’t care. I have more important things to care about–like how to find the money to keep our struggling neighborhood group going. We have real people to help, with real problems of housing, crime, bank discrimination and inequitable city services. What we do is valuable. State legislators are not valuable, they only cause pain and suffering. They help no one–except themselves.