Legislative Lulus
The bottom line is that we spend $2,474,000 every year on legislators above and beyond their salaries.  This is basically hidden money which gives the party leaders great power over each member, as they decide who gets what.
My conclusion: Eliminate them.  Better to adjust legislator's salaries for inflation, as they haven't gotten a raise since 1999, and build in the lulus. That brings their $79,500 salary to about $110,00 and with the lulu’s to about $125,000. And the end result is more freedom for each member to serve their constituents, as it diminshes the power of the 'Three Men in a Room'.
-Bill Samuels

New York State Senate:

1.  60 of 63 Senators currently receive a leadership or committee stipend.

Senator Tony Avella has declined to accept a stipend although he is entitled to receive one as the ranking minority member on two Senate committees.

Democratic Senators John Sampson and Malcolm Smith were stripped of their leadership and committee stipends after their recent federal indictments.

Although Senator Liz Krueger has declined a stipend in the past, she is accepting one this year to defray higher Manhattan district office rent expenses than are permitted by the Senate  (and will return any unspent stipend to the state). 

2.   87 Senate stipends are authorized by Legislative Law section 2(5)(a). 24 are for leadership positions and 63 are for committee positions.  

3. The average Senate stipend is $14,950.00. These stipends range from $41,500 for top leadership positions to $9,000 for ranking minority committee member positions.

New York State Assembly:

 1. 102 of 147 Assembly Members receive a leadership or committee stipend (three of the 150 total districts are currently vacant). 42 Democrats, 1 Independent and 2 Republicans do not receive stipends.

2. 115 stipends are authorized by Legislative Law section 2(5)(a).  34 are for leadership positions and 81 are for committee assignments.  

2. Seniority generally determines which Members receive stipends.

All Democratic Assembly Members elected through 2007 (except two) receive a stipend. Assembly Member Micah Kellner, elected in 2007, declined accepting a stipend.

Assembly Member William Boyland, elected in 2003 and currently under federal indictment, does not receive a stipend.

Assembly Member Fred Thiele, first elected in 1995 and most recently elected as an Independence Party Member, does not receive a stipend.

For Democratic Members elected in 2008, only Assembly Member Michael DenDekker receives a stipend. Assembly Members Inez Barron and Addie Russell (both elected in 2008) do not receive stipends.  Democratic Members elected in 2009 or later do not receive stipends. 

5. The average Assembly stipend is $13,847.83. These stipends range from $41,500 for the Speaker to $9,000 for leadership and ranking minority member committee positions.

Note: Legislators appointed to a leadership and to a committee chair/ranking minority member position are entitled to only one stipend. 



Authored by

No constitutional provision applies to this issue.  New York statute governs leadership and committee stipends.


N.Y. LEG. LAW § 5-a

Any member of either house of the legislature serving as an officer of his house or in  any  other  special  capacity  therein  or  directly connected  therewith  shall  be paid an allowance...
A selection of relevant solutions from other states.




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