Lawmaker Pay Raises and a Casino for Christmas? Bet On it

Rumors are flying around Albany regarding the planned December 17th announcement about the placement of four casinos in Upstate New York.

The most interesting “rumor” that is heating up claims that the powerbrokers in Albany have decided to place the Capital Region casino in the City of Rensselaer.  The casino, to be owned by Hard Rock, would become the only casino in the Country to be located within site of a state capital.

To some, the placing of a casino within a state’s capital skyline may seem a little out of whack, but given that Albany has long been known as one of the most corrupt and dysfunctional State Legislatures in the Country, this should come as no surprise.

There have also been serious talks in Albany over the last few weeks about bringing the state legislature back before Christmas for a special session to vote themselves a pay raise.   Some insiders say the raises could boost the current base pay of $79,500 well past the $112,500-a-year base salary paid to members of the New York City Council.

With allegations and out right indictments for sexual harassment, domestic violence, stealing money through housing reimbursements and using non-profits to funnel state funds to themselves and family members, what can go wrong by giving legislators more money and a casino within a short ride from the capital?

Some may find it ironic, but in New York, it’s business as usual.

Now when yellow school buses full of children make the trek to our historic state capital, teachers can point out the Capital Building, the Alfred Smith Building, the Egg and of course, our official State Casino, where the important decisions of state government are really made.


New York

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