VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – New York State Senator Tom O’Mara is praising a decision that allows legislators to get a pay raise and make outside income.
O’Mara’s 58th district includes Hornell, Elmira and Ithaca. He was part of a lawsuit fighting a ban on outside income.
Last week, a second judge ruled that a state pay commission overstepped its bounds when it put the ban into effect. That commission made that decision while raising legislative base salaries about $50,000 to $130,000 by 2021. It was the first raise in about two decades.
“The legislature has always been a part-time institution.” said O’Mara on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. ‘The raise that was provided by the commission was basically in line with the cost-of-living increases and inflation have been since the last raise in 1999.”
O’Mara, a Republican, said he earned outside income as lawyer, but he’s never had to sit out a vote due to a conflict of interest.
The pay commission was set up after legislative leaders in both chambers were caught up in different corruption scandals.
The Governor’s salary will also go up $50,000 to $250,000 by 2021. That office was not subject to the ban on outside income.