Freshman Suffolk Legis. Bill Lindsay (D-Oakdale) filed a bill last week to bar Suffolk elected officials from collecting both a salary and a pension, but he withdrew his proposal the next day before even allowing it to get to committee for debate.
"It's all on me," said Lindsay, indicating he tried to rush the measure into a formal proposal before all the research was done. After the bill was filed, he said, legislative counsel George Nolan told him there were a number of legal issues that likely would have made his proposal unenforceable, even if it won legislative approval. Lindsay said he does not plan to try to revise the measure.
The bill would have had a major partisan effect on three Republican legislators: Thomas Muratore, a former Suffolk police officer; Thomas Barraga, a former state Assemblyman; and Rob Trotta, a former Suffolk police detective. All three get a pension and a legislative salary.
Nolan said one problem with the bill is that the state pre-empts local government in the area of setting rules for pensions. He also said there is a state comptroller's opinion that the salary for elected positions is attached to the office, not the individual, so there is no legal way to bar an official's salary even if the lawmaker is receiving a pension.