Senator Kaplan Announces Support for Outside Income Ban for State Legislators

Senator Anna M. Kaplan

January 27, 2020

(Carle Place, NY) January 27, 2020 -- Following recent court decisions jeopardizing a ban on outside income for state legislators that would have gone into effect on January 1, 2020, Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-Great Neck) is announcing support for a legislative remedy to ensure the measure is enacted without further delay.

"As an elected official, I work for the people I represent--and no one else," said Senator Anna M. Kaplan. "Being a Senator is a full-time job, and if you can't commit to doing the people's work on a full-time basis, you shouldn't be doing it at all."

The New York State Committee on Legislative and Executive Compensation was created in 2018 to study whether to raise the pay of state legislators and other officials, and it ultimately recommended increases in officials' salaries to be instituted along with a restriction on outside sources of income.

Recent court decisions have upheld the authority of the commission to institute raises for legislative salaries, but have said it went too far by restricting outside income, leaving the enactment of that provision in jeopardy.

"This is the right policy for the people of New York State, and if the courts strike down the outside income ban, I am going to fight to pass it as a stand-alone bill and see that it be enacted without delay," Senator Kaplan continued.

The restriction would ban income derived from work earned in professions where there is a fiduciary relationship, such as attorneys or financial advisers, and severely limit outside income earned in certain permissible professions, up to a cap of 15% of the legislators' government salary. The guidelines are modeled after Congressional guidelines on outside income and are intended to eliminate many of the perceived or actual conflicts of interest that can arise due to a legislator's outside work.

"Having officials with divided loyalties is corrosive to public trust in our institutions, and we're all sick and tired of seeing politicians caught trying to cash in on their connections to power. If we are going to truly stand up to corruption in New York State, we need to eliminate these conflicts of interest entirely," Senator Kaplan concluded.