The Real Deal New York

421a revival could be on the agenda if state legislature calls special session

Pay raises for New York's politicos is the main impetus, a report claims

December 01, 2016 08:19AM

From left: Andrew Cuomo and Carl Heastie

From left: Andrew Cuomo and Carl Heastie

The New York State Legislature seems closer to calling a special session before the end of the year, potentially bringing a revised 421a to the table.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering trading pay increases to legislators for certain ethic reforms, including a constitutional amendment that would create term limits and a full-time legislature, the New York Daily News reported. The pay increase issue would be one of many discussed if the legislature calls a special session, including other ethics reforms. Though he didn’t name 421a explicitly, Cuomo noted on Wednesday that the state Senate and Assembly need to break a “logjam” in finalizing a memorandum of understanding that would release $2 billion for affordable and supportive housing. The governor has said legislators have refused to release the funds until 421a is renewed.

Still, the Assembly doesn’t seem to be too keen on cutting a deal on the pay raise issue. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie denied that negotiations to raise the legislative base salary from $79,500 were ongoing. He also said that he wasn’t aware of some of the other issues Cuomo tapped for a possible special session.

“These items include significant issues that go to the very heart of our system of government and they cannot be considered on a whim,” he said. “I have no idea who the Governor is speaking to about these issues, but it certainly isn’t me.” [NYDN] Kathryn Brenzel 

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