Assembly candidate Diane Dwire takes stand against pay raises for politicians

Calls for opponent Gary Finch to clarify position on legislative pay increases

Diane Dwire, candidate for the state Assembly’s 126th District, is asking Assemblyman Gary Finch to let the voters know where he stands on the proposed pay raise for legislators. Finch has implied that there should be a pay raise despite the fact that legislators already make a minimum $79,500 per year.

“The current pay for state lawmakers is more than adequate, and when so many Central New York families struggle to get by, it’s difficult to justify hiking that pay even higher,” Dwire said. “The needs of our families and communities should always come first, not raises for lawmakers.”

Finch has said that he opposes the 47 percent pay raise currently being floated, but that having no pay raise at all is “not a good thing.” This ambiguity could mean anything from a 1 percent to a 46 percent raise, and Finch has yet to clarify his position on the matter. Can anyone figure out where he stands on this important issue?

Public records show that, in 2015, Finch received $18,000 in bonus pay from the Assembly as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside income. Over the years, he has also repeatedly voted against raising the minimum wage and establishing paid family leave – two policies that go a long way toward helping the same working families whose taxes pay for his salary, Dwire noted.

“Most Central New Yorkers make a fraction of what our state legislators make,” Dwire said. “We need to do more to help middle-class families, not use taxpayer dollars to pad politicians’ pockets.”

Dwire staunchly opposes a pay raise for officials, and if elected, she will donate the salary increase along with her pension to local charities.