Prohibits members of the legislature from receiving certain income and establishes the commission on legislative compensation.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to prohibiting members of the legislature from receiving certain income and establishing the commission on legislative compensation
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Clarifies that the New York State Legislature is a full-time legislative body by prohibiting legislators from earning outside income during their term in office, and establishing a quadrennial commission on legislative compensation to periodically examine, evaluate, and recommend adequate levels of compensation and non-salary benefits for state legislators.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends the legislative law by adding two new sections, 5-b and 5-c.
§ 5-b prohibits members of the legislature from receiving outside earned income for the duration of their terms in office. This prohibition does not include salary, benefits, or allowances made by New York State, income from military or National Guard service, income from pensions or other continuing benefits from previous employment, copyright royalties, or compensation for services rendered prior to becoming a member of the legislature.
§ 5-c establishes the Commission on Legislative Compensation ("the Commission"). The Commission will convene every four years starting April 1, 2015, and is charged with examining, evaluating, and making recommendations with respect to adequate levels of compensation and non-salary benefits for state legislators, taking into account a number of economic and budgetary factors.
The Commission will consist of nine members: three appointed by the Governor, one each appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly, and two appointed by the Comptroller.
The Commission shall make its final determination within 150 days after its establishment, and its recommendations are binding unless modified or abrogated by statute before taking effect.
Section 2 of the bill provides that the act shall take effect January 1, 2015.
JUSTIFICATION: Over the past several decades, the public's trust in their state legislators has steadily eroded as scandal after scandal has rocked Albany. In July 2013, Governor Cuomo convened the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption to "probe systemic public corruption and the appearance of public corruption" in state government.
In the Commission's December 2013 report, they note that the New York State Legislature is "part-time," and a majority of legislators supplement their $79,500 base salary with other jobs - many as attorneys employed by firms representing clients who have business before the state. The Commission acknowledges that legislators holding outside employment inherently creates the appearance - at the very
least - of competing interests between responsibilities as a lawmaker and their outside job. The Commission has issued subpoenas to certain lawmakers, seeking details on income derived from sources outside of their legislative work, and for legislators who are practicing attorneys, a list of their clients.
This legislation would establish the legislature as "full-time" by banning most forms of outside income, removing the appearance of impropriety that comes hand-in-hand with legislators earning outside income and helping to refocus legislators' priority to representing their constituents.
A quadrennial commission, similar to the model recently established for state judges, would be created to periodically examine and adjust legislative pay to help ensure that members of the legislature are compensated at levels commensurate with the full-time work they are expected to perform.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6196 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the legislative law, in relation to prohibiting members of the legislature from receiving certain income and establishing the commission on legislative compensation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The legislative law is amended by adding two new sections 5-b and 5-c to read as follows: S 5-B. PROHIBITION ON OUTSIDE EARNED INCOME FOR MEMBERS. 1. NOTWITH- STANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE ARE PROHIBITED FROM RECEIVING OUTSIDE EARNED INCOME FOR THE DURATION OF THEIR TERM IN OFFICE. 2. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "OUTSIDE EARNED INCOME" INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, WAGES, SALARIES, HONORARIA, COMMIS- SIONS, PROFESSIONAL FEES, AND OTHER FORMS OF COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES. 3. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "OUTSIDE EARNED INCOME" DOES NOT INCLUDE: A. SALARY, BENEFITS, AND ALLOWANCES PAID BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK; B. INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO SERVICE WITH THE MILITARY RESERVES OR NATIONAL GUARD; C. INCOME FROM PENSIONS AND OTHER CONTINUING BENEFITS ATTRIBUTABLE TO PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OR SERVICES; D. INCOME FROM INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES WHERE THE MEMBER'S SERVICES ARE NOT A MATERIAL FACTOR IN THE PRODUCTION OF INCOME; E. COPYRIGHT ROYALTIES, FEES, AND THEIR FUNCTIONAL EQUIVALENT, FROM THE USE OR SALE OF COPYRIGHT, PATENT AND SIMILAR FORMS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, WHEN RECEIVED FROM ESTABLISHED USERS OR PURCHASERS OF THOSE RIGHTS; OR F. COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED PRIOR TO JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, OR BEFORE BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13254-02-3 S. 6196 2
S 5-C. COMMISSION ON LEGISLATIVE COMPENSATION. 1. ON THE FIRST OF APRIL OF EVERY FOURTH YEAR, COMMENCING APRIL FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, THERE SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOR SUCH YEAR A COMMISSION ON LEGIS- LATIVE COMPENSATION TO EXAMINE, EVALUATE AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH RESPECT TO ADEQUATE LEVELS OF COMPENSATION AND NON-SALARY BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THE COMMISSION SHALL: A. EXAMINE THE PREVAILING ADEQUACY OF PAY LEVELS AND NON-SALARY BENE- FITS RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND DETERMINE WHETHER ANY OF SUCH PAY LEVELS WARRANT ADJUSTMENT; AND B. DETERMINE WHETHER, FOR ANY OF THE FOUR YEARS COMMENCING ON THE FIRST OF APRIL OF SUCH YEARS, FOLLOWING THE YEAR IN WHICH THE COMMISSION IS ESTABLISHED, THE ANNUAL SALARIES FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE STATE LEGIS- LATURE WARRANT ADJUSTMENT. IN DISCHARGING ITS RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER PARAGRAPHS A AND B OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE COMMISSION SHALL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL APPROPRIATE FACTORS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: THE OVERALL ECONOMIC CLIMATE; RATES OF INFLATION; CHANGES IN PUBLIC-SECTOR SPENDING; THE LEVELS OF COMPENSATION AND NON-SALARY BENEFITS RECEIVED BY JUDGES, EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIALS AND LEGISLATORS OF OTHER STATES AND OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; THE LEVELS OF COMPENSATION AND NON-SALARY BENEFITS RECEIVED BY PROFESSIONALS IN GOVERNMENT, ACADEMIA AND PRIVATE AND NONPROFIT ENTERPRISE; AND THE STATE'S ABILITY TO FUND INCREASES IN COMPENSATION AND NON-SALARY BENEFITS. 2. THE COMMISSION SHALL CONSIST OF NINE MEMBERS TO BE APPOINTED AS FOLLOWS: THREE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR; ONE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE; ONE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY; ONE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SENATE MINORITY LEADER; ONE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER; AND TWO SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER. THE MEMBERS APPOINTED SHALL NOT BE EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVI- SION THEREOF. THE GOVERNOR SHALL DESIGNATE THE CHAIR OF THE COMMISSION FROM AMONG THE MEMBERS SO APPOINTED. VACANCIES IN THE COMMISSION SHALL BE FILLED IN THE SAME MANNER AS ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS. TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION SHALL HAVE EXPERIENCE IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: DETERMINATION OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION, HUMAN RESOURCE ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. 3. THE COMMISSION MAY MEET WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE STATE, MAY HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS AND SHALL HAVE ALL THE POWERS OF A LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE PURSUANT TO THIS CHAPTER. 4. THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION SHALL RECEIVE NO COMPENSATION FOR THEIR SERVICES BUT SHALL BE ALLOWED THEIR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES HEREUNDER. 5. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT FEASIBLE, THE COMMISSION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO REQUEST AND RECEIVE AND SHALL UTILIZE AND BE PROVIDED WITH SUCH FACILI- TIES, RESOURCES AND DATA OF ANY COURT, DEPARTMENT, DIVISION, BOARD, BUREAU, COMMISSION, AGENCY OR PUBLIC AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OR ANY POLI- TICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF AS IT MAY REASONABLY REQUEST TO PROPERLY CARRY OUT ITS POWERS AND DUTIES PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. 6. THE COMMISSION MAY REQUEST, AND SHALL RECEIVE, REASONABLE ASSIST- ANCE FROM STATE AGENCY PERSONNEL AS NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS FUNCTIONS. 7. THE COMMISSION SHALL MAKE A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE STATE COMP- TROLLER AND THE LEGISLATURE OF ITS FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, DETERMINATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, IF ANY, NOT LATER THAN ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DAYS AFTER ITS ESTABLISHMENT. EACH RECOMMENDATION MADE TO IMPLEMENT A DETERMINATIONS. 6196 3
PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL HAVE THE FORCE OF LAW, AND SHALL SUPERSEDE INCONSISTENT PROVISIONS OF SECTION FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE, UNLESS MODIFIED OR ABROGATED BY STATUTE PRIOR TO APRIL FIRST OF THE YEAR AS TO WHICH SUCH DETERMINATION APPLIES. 8. UPON THE MAKING OF ITS REPORT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION, EACH COMMISSION ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED DISSOLVED. 9. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION OR OF ANY OTHER LAW, EACH INCREASE IN SALARY OR COMPENSATION OF ANY MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE PROVIDED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE ADDED TO THE SALARY OR COMPENSATION OF SUCH MEMBER AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT PAYROLL PERIOD THE FIRST DAY OF WHICH IS NEAREST TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH INCREASE AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, OR AT THE BEGINNING OF THE EARLIER OF TWO PAYROLL PERIODS THE FIRST DAYS OF WHICH ARE NEAREST BUT EQUALLY NEAR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH INCREASE AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THE PAYMENT OF SUCH SALARY INCREASE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION ON A DATE PRIOR THERETO INSTEAD OF ON SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, SHALL NOT OPERATE TO CONFER ANY ADDITIONAL SALARY RIGHTS OR BENEFITS ON SUCH MEMBER. 10. THE ANNUAL SALARIES AS PRESCRIBED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE WHENEVER ADJUSTED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE ROUNDED UP TO THE NEAREST MULTIPLE OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. S 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.