NYC Council members vote to give themselves $36,000 raise

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The New York City Council raised its pay Friday by 32 percent, an increase members justified because it was tied to new rules that limit their outside income.

The council voted 40-7 to approve the pay-raise legislation. Members of the 51-member council, which is overwhelming Democratic, haven’t had a raise since 2006.

Members’ salaries are rising from $112,500 to $148,500, retroactive to Jan. 1. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s salary is increasing from $112,500 to $164,500.

“Every dollar is a worthy investment in a government that works full time,” Councilman Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, said as he voted in favor of the bill.

Like many lawmakers, Kallos said the raise was reasonable because members worked hard and because the legislation restricted outside incomes and eliminated stipends earned for committee work or for fulfilling other council leadership positions.

As of December, 47 of the current council members were eligible to receive the stipends, though 11 declined them, according to a report by the Independent Quadrennial Advisory Commission, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year to assess the pay of elected officials. Every member who serves as a committee or subcommittee chairman is eligible for a stipend of at least $8,000, the report said. Ms. Mark-Viverito had earned a $25,000 stipend as speaker.

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