‘We don’t need more money; we need an emphasis on stewardship, governance and efficiency.’

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) said he opposes pay raises for lawmakers, as the core function of the Legislature is helping New Yorkers improve their quality of life through a responsible budget and effective legislation, not making more money.

Hawley also believes a more efficient legislative schedule, for example starting session at 9 a.m. and working until 5 p.m., three days per week instead of 59 days spread over six months, would enable the people’s work to be wrapped up by the end of March. 

“We need to return to what our Founding Fathers envisioned when our country was conceived, citizen representatives whose motivation for taking office was to serve their neighbors,” said Hawley. “We don’t need more money; we need an emphasis on stewardship, governance and efficiency. I am honored to serve the residents of the 139th district and all New Yorkers; I do not support a legislative pay raise at the expense of those I represent.”

Hawley also said he does not believe the Commission on Legislative, Judicial & Executive Compensation should be making a lawfully-binding pay raise recommendation to the Legislature. That decision, he said, should be up to those elected by the public.

“An embarrassing number of legislators have been found to be abusing the public trust. Until there are rock-solid reforms in place to ensure an end to corruption, bribery, fraud and pay-to-play politics, we should not even entertain the thought of a raise,” said Hawley.

Hawley believes that people should run in order to advocate for their neighbors and not because they are seeking a lucrative occupation. In order to recruit citizens who are in it for the right reasons and deter future corruption, he has fought for legislation that would do away with pensions for statewide elected officials convicted of a felony (A377). Hawley pledged to continue fighting for ethics reform during the upcoming session.

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