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In his inaugural address last week, Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano went off-script and seemed to argue for salary increases for members of the Nassau County Legislature.
"They work tirelessly, and they are way underpaid,” Mangano said in his speech at Bethpage High School shortly before being sworn in for a second term. “And that should be rectified immediately."
But, neither Mangano’s office nor the GOP-controlled legislature is pushing the idea of raises for chamber’s 19 lawmakers. The base pay for all county legislators is $39,500.
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said the administration would not submit legislation increasing the salary of legislators, arguing there was a “separation of powers .?.?. they decide their own pay.”
Cristina Brennan, a spokeswoman for Republicans in the Nassau legislature, agreed that lawmakers were underpaid but said there are no plans to increase their salary, which is set in the county charter.
In 2010, the legislature’s Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt ignited a controversy when he proposed -- and then voted for -- pay raises averaging 42 percent for himself, his deputy and the Democratic leader. Democrats vociferously opposed the raises.
Schmitt, a Republican who died in 2012, later bowed to pressure and rescinded the raises.