Outside pay limit for legislators would affect Amedore

The only state lawmaker out of 10 representing Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties who would be affected by the recently ordered limit on outside income is Sen. George Amedore, the Rotterdam Republican who represents part of Ulster and whose family has a lucrative home-building business.

The same panel of appointees that awarded legislators $50,500 raises in three steps in November declared that those with outside jobs can earn no more than 15 percent of their public salaries in the private sector, starting in 2020. For lawmakers like Amedore who earn far above that limit, which will be $18,000 in 2020, the restriction will force them to surrender either their outside income or their Legislature seats.

Amedore criticized the raises in a statement to the Times Herald-Record, but didn’t address the outside-pay restriction and how he will confront it. He didn’t respond to requests through his office to comment on that issue.

“While many New Yorkers are struggling to afford the high cost of living and doing business, to give lawmakers a raise that would make them the highest paid in the nation is out of touch,” Amedore said in his statement. “That’s why I voted against the creation of the pay commission. The Legislature has the authority to reject the commission’s recommendations, and that’s we should do.”

The raises will lift lawmakers base salaries from $79,500 to $110,000 in January, to $120,000 the following year and to $130,000 in 2021.

Jonathan Jacobson, a Democratic Newburgh city councilman elected in November to succeed the late Frank Skartados in the Assembly, is an attorney, but said he will wind down his practice next year and won’t be affected by the outside-pay restriction.

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