From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic-controlled Legislature are kicking off the new year with high favorable ratings from voters, a Siena College poll released Monday found.

But voters are not thrilled with a pay commission backing the first legislative salary increase in 20 years, boosting their pay from $79,500 to $130,000 in the coming years, but with strings attached.

Cuomo’s favorability rating among registered voters stands at 51 percent to 43 percent, an improvement from a negative rating of 45 percent to 49 percent in November among likely voters.

The Assembly, long under Democratic control, has a 48 percent to 32 percent favorability rating, it’s best showing ever in the Siena poll. The Assembly’s rating is up from a negative 40 percent to 43 percent in June among likely voters.

The state Senate, which has flipped to Democratic control, now has a 49 percent to 38 percent favorability rating, an improvement from 41 percent to 45 percent in June among likely voters, and when Republicans had majority control.

Still, Cuomo’s job approval rating remains underwater, with 43 percent approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving.

Voters are less thrilled with the pay commission increasing lawmakers’ pay, with a whopping 80 percent to 15 percent opposing the salary hike.

But voters are more supportive of limiting extra pay for most leadership posts and capping outside income, 57 percent to 35 percent.

The 2019 legislative session is expected to produce a flurry of action on bills ranging from gun control, abortion rights and campaign finance reforms, which were long stalled under Republican control of the state Senate. Later today, lawmakers are expected to take up a package of bills meant to make it easier to register and vote in New York.

A majority of voters back measures like the Child Victims Act (77 percent), which is aimed at making it easier for the survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (68 percent), extending background checks for gun purchases from three days to 10 (75 percent) and making the state’s property tax cap permanent (65 percent).

A plurality of voters, 36 percent, believe Cuomo should make infrastructure a top issue for him in the new year, followed by health care and education at 33 percent and 32 percent.

The poll of 805 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 6 to Jan. 10 and has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

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