Three Assembly Republicans want to eliminate the ability of state lawmakers to pocket frequent-flier miles and other perks from their travel to Albany.
The New York Post recently estimated that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spent $20,219 in taxpayer money over the past three years to fly from New York City to Albany, and he raked up frequent-flier miles as a result.
Albany-area Assemblymen Steve McLaughlin and Jim Tedisco and Long Island Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick said they will introduce legislation to prohibit lawmakers from collecting the perks for their travel, including reward points for hotel stays.
The lawmakers said that the perks should be donated back to the state to lower travel costs, or donated to charity. Lawmakers receive $165 a day for each day they are in Albany.
“Many New Yorkers are struggling to put food on the table for their children each night, yet the speaker of the Assembly is flying high with our tax dollars and apparently earning bonus miles for personal trips,” McLaughlin said in a statement. “For an individual worth millions of dollars, the last thing Speaker Silver should be doing is arrogantly taking advantage of state taxpayers by racking up free airline trips at their expense.”
The measure is unlike to get support in the Democratic-led Assembly, but it’s another attempt to criticize Silver.
Some Assembly Republicans have called on Silver to resign for his role in a sexual harassment case involving former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn.