Special Session to Raise Lawmakers’ Pay Sputters

ALBANY (AP) -

Talk of a special session focused on legislative pay sputtered Friday, with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan saying talks have not “borne fruit.”

Top legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent several weeks negotiating a possible lame-duck session focused on raising legislative pay, their first raise in 17 years.

“There just isn’t enough in this package to justify convening a special session and bringing 213 legislators back to Albany before the end of the year,” Flanagan said.

New York now pays its legislators $79,500, the third-highest legislative salary in the country. A leading proposal would bump that to $99,500. Any pay raise would have had to be approved by Dec. 31 in order to take effect in 2017.

Other groups who had been counting on a special session to advance their issues will now look to the 2017 session, which begins Jan. 4.

Uber and Lyft had hoped lawmakers might use the special session to allow them to expand upstate. The two ride-hailing services are now prohibited from doing business outside of New York City.

Cuomo had also crafted a list of possible special session topics, including ethics reforms as well as funding for housing and homelessness and a new task force created to investigate hate crimes.