Retiring Nassau Legis. Francis Becker (R-Lynbrook) made a public plea last week for county lawmakers to raise their salaries, fixed at $39,500 since the legislature began in January 1996.

"I know everybody works extremely hard," Becker said. "We should pass legislation raising our salaries. I am petitioning, almost pleading, that our Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) and our Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) get together and let us do the right thing; $39,500 is an absolute joke."

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He received no response. If approved, any pay hike would take effect after the next general election.

Online inflation calculators show that $39,500 in 1996 is equivalent to $60,078 today. -- Celeste Hadrick