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Lawmakers weigh cap on private sector earnings again

Democrat Phil Steck is a member of the state Assembly. He also is a lawyer, working at a law office two blocks from the Capitol. He says his job as an attorney doesn’t affect his work as someone who writes and votes on laws.

“We don’t take cases that conflict with our other clients, I don’t take cases that conflict with my role in the Assembly,” Steck said.

An appointed commission last year approved pay raises for lawmakers for the first time in 20 years, boosting their pay from $79,500 to $110,000. But the commission also capped how much lawmakers can earn at private-sector jobs at 15 percent of their public salary. The outside income cap was struck down in court challenges.

“The problems that have arisen in the Legislature have almost nothing to do with outside income. Taking a bribe has nothing to do with outside income,” Steck said.

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