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Lawmakers who voted against state pay raises to $142K can opt to donate salaries

In the waning days of 2022, a majority of Republicans and a few Democrats voted against a $32,000 pay raise for state lawmakers in New York. It didn’t matter, the pay made it through and was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul.

This raise, coupled with their last raise four years ago, amounts to a 78 percent pay hike to $142,000 dollars a year.


In light of this many have inquired: Can it be given back?

One state senator from the Finger Lakes, Pam Helming, who represents the 54th District, referred to the pay raise as shameful and said “calling a special session to vote on a pay raise shows that many are out of touch”.

Lawmakers can donate all or a portion of their salary back to the state or to charity. While lawmakers haven’t announced any intention to do so, the financial regulations are at least in place to allow them to do it.



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