Update: Leg. Al Krupski’s bill that would freeze salaries of elected county officials was approved by the government operations, personnel, information technology and housing committee yesterday, the county legislator said. It will come before the full legislature at its general meeting next week in Riverhead, Krupski said.
Original story: A proposal by County Legislator Al Krupski to freeze pay for elected officials in county government will be considered by a legislative committee today.
The measure would freeze for four years the salaries of county legislators, the county executive, district attorney, sheriff, county clerk, county comptroller, as well as the presiding officer and deputy presiding officer of the legislature.
Since 1986, county legislators have gotten automatic annual salary increases of 4 percent or the increase of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower, according to the North Fork legislator. Legislators can decline the automatic raise. Krupski said he and a number of other legislators has opted out of the raise for three of the last four years. County Executive Steve Bellone has also voluntarily frozen his salary for the past six years, Krupski said.
“Considering the financial situation Suffolk County is facing, it is important the legislature lead by example in this case,” said Krupski said. “If we consider asking the workers of the county to forgo pay increases, we should be willing to do the same. If we are asking our constituents to accept cuts to services, we need to make sacrifices as well.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Legislator William Lindsay III (D-Holbrook) who has sponsored similar legislation in the past.
“Freezing our automatic pay increases will not solve the county’s financial problems but it is a place to start and show how serious we are about solving these problems,” Lindsay said.
Suffolk County is facing a $165 million budget deficit. Bellone this year announced an “accountability plan” that includes a proposed a pay freeze for county workers and an embargo on department spending. The county’s payroll is nearly $1 billion per year.
Legislators are paid just under $100,000 per year. The presiding officer earns a salary of $122,123 and the deputy presiding officer $111,027. The county executive’s pay is $186,097. The district attorney, sheriff and comptroller are paid $192,451.
The proposed legislation will be considered by the government operations, personnel, information technology and housing committee meeting at 10 o’clock today in the legislative auditorium in Smithtown.
If approved by the committee, the proposed local law will be considered by the full legislature at its next general Meeting on next Wednesday, Sept. 6 in Riverhead.
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