Stec objects to inmate pay raise

Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury (Official photo)

ALBANY — A bill in the state Legislature would give prison inmate workers a pay raise.

The bill would raise the minimum wage for inmate workers in New York to $3 an hour. The average inmate now makes 62 cents an hour, according to a study from the Prison Policy Institute.

The bill is proposed by two Brooklyn Democrats: state Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assemblyman Nick Perry. It is intended to “end the last vestiges of slavery and embrace the spirit and the promise of the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” according to the bill’s current text.

It has drawn objections from some legislators. Assemblyman Dan Stec, a Republican from Queensbury whose district includes Essex County, spoke out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent comments of support for the bill and for giving inmate workers a cost-of-living adjustment every five years.

“Hardworking middle-class New Yorkers are being taxed out of the state they love, and this is the type of issue that the governor decides to focus on,” said Stec. “He is truly misguided and out of touch. Under this administration, we have focused far too much time on making the lives of convicted felons better rather than working to ease the tax burden of law-abiding residents.”