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Long IslandNassau

Dems' amendment seeks notice before lawmaker pay hikes

In the ongoing saga of the GOP-led pay raises for Nassau County legislative leaders, the Democratic minority wants to amend the county charter to mandate public notice before such pay hikes.

Republican Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt of Massapequa already has said he will push to rescind the raises he succeeded in getting passed as a procedural matter on Jan. 25. All 11 Republicans voted in favor, and all eight Democrats voted no.

The Democrats' proposed amendment says that salary adjustments for the leadership may only be awarded after taxpayers have had ample opportunity to comment. The raises for the part-time positions also would have to be set by ordinance rather than as a procedural matter.

Schmitt initially sought the increased leadership stipends that hiked his salary from $67,500 to $99,500; his deputy's, from $62,500 to $84,500, and that of Democratic Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove) from $63,500 to $90,500.

Schmitt could not be reached for comment late Thursday. But he has said he would push for rescinding the raises on Feb. 22 the same way they were gained - by procedural resolution.

Yatauro, who said she would give her raise to charity, said the amendment would force stipend raises to go through the same procedure as regular pay raises - by ordinance.

"They must be proposed and acted upon before Oct. 1 and do not become effective until an intervening election has occurred," she said.

However, the fate of the Democrats' resolution remains unclear, as it will be up to Schmitt to put the measure on the legislative agenda.


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