New York City Council to Go Full Time with Stipend “Lulus” Banned by Legislation Introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos

01/28/2016

New York, NY – New York City Council Members would become full time with stipends referred to as “lulus” banned for all members other than the Speaker and Minority leader by legislation introduced today by Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee.

“City Council Members will be working full time for their residents without the influence of stipends and outside income,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “New York City continues to lead with reforms the people want to see at all levels of government.”

New York City Council Members are currently “part-time” and the only elected officials who do not have to give their “whole time” and are not prohibited from engaging in any other occupation, profession, or employment. This legislation would make the City Council full time and is coupled with rules limiting outside income.

47 Council Members, are offered a stipend of between $5,000 and $25,000 for serving as committee chairs or leadership. 34 council members made a pledge to Citizens Union as council candidates in 2013 to limit stipends to the Speaker and Minority Leader. Despite their pledges only 10 members refused the money in 2014 and for their entire terms with two more joining in 2015:  Brad Lander, Alan Maisel, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger of Brooklyn; Andy Cohen of the Bronx; Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan; Jimmy Van Bramer and Rory Lancman of Queens; and Steve Matteo of Staten Island.

Conflict of Interest Board (“COIB”) outside income disclosure forms will also be available online for elected officials as part of legislation introduced by Council Member Jimmy Vacca for which Kallos is co-prime sponsor. In 2010, then advocate Kallos worked with the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Bill Mahoney to request copies using the Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), scan and post outside income disclosure forms for state legislators online. Following this action, outside income forms were put online with income ranges by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).