Contrary to the assessment in your editorial (“Don’t restrict outside income of legislators,” Jan. 4,) the legislation I recently introduced barring legislators from holding outside employment specifically addresses the needs of legislators to be paid a reasonable salary for their work.
My bill would establish a quadrennial Commission on Legislative Compensation, modeled after the commission recently established to examine judicial pay, to ensure that legislators’ pay is commensurate with full-time employment. My bill is neutral on whether there should actually be a pay increase; this issue would be left to the commission to examine.
It is also incorrect that my bill would create a hardship for legislators because they need outside employment income to help pay for Albany travel and lodging. In fact, state legislators already receive a per diem for these expenses, in addition to their annual salary.
I strongly agree that the Legislature should be open to everyone, not just the privileged few who can afford the pay cut. Let’s make the job full-time and compensate legislators appropriately, while at the same time help clean up Albany by ending conflicts of interest from outside employment.
Hoylman, a Democrat, represents Manhattan in the state Senate.