A lawyer for the New York Senate says paying leadership stipends to state lawmakers who don't hold the positions is constitutional.
In response to newspaper reports revealing at least six senators were salaried for chairmanships they don't hold, the counsel to the Republican-led Senate released a memo Saturday justifying the compensations. The memo's release came after The New York Times last week found some lawmakers had been incorrectly marked as committee chairmen in state payroll documents to receive additional incomes.
Senate lawyer David Lewis wrote that the salaries fall under state law allowing for unspecified pay for senators serving in "special capacity."
According to the Times, the senators hold lower roles in the committees but have received chairmen salaries of up to $18,000. The actual chairmen of the committees took higher Senate stipends.
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