Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s salary will rise by $25,000 in January amid an economic downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, numerous sources reported.
The raise will bring Cuomo’s salary to $250,000, ranking him among the highest paid governors in the country, the Niagara Gazette reported. The pay increase is attributed to legislative action that was implemented prior to the pandemic in 2019, but a pay commission is urging a moratorium on raises for state officials due to the “extreme economic shock” that has impacted New York’s state revenues.
“Granting raises to public servants, no matter how much they might otherwise deserve them is simply not possible at this time,” the Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation said in a report published Nov. 11. The commission called New York’s economic outlook for fiscal year 2021 “bleak,” and cited an estimated $60.5 billion loss in the state’s budget along with an unemployment rate that could average at 11.4%.
“Given the state’s extremely precarious fiscal condition the Commission is constrained from recommending salary increases for the next four year for judges, legislators, and executive branch officials,” the report concludes.
The commission was created in 2015 to insulate lawmakers from backlash they could face if they were to increase their pay, according to the Niagara Gazette.
Cuomo’s and Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul, however, will receive pay raises on top of raises they got last January. The Government Justice Center, a conservative government watchdog, sued to block the pay raise in December 2019, alleging that the state’s constitution prohibits changing a governor or lieutenant governor’s pay during their term.
Cuomo’s salary jumped from $200,000 in 2019, to $225,000 in January 2020. The pay raises would also benefit Cuomo’s and Hochul when they retire, since New York state pensions are based in part on an employee’s three highest consecutive years of pay.
Book Revue proudly presents an evening online with @NYGovCuomo and @billyjoel on Wednesday, 11/18 at 7PM EST🙌 The pair will be discussing Governor Cuomo’s New York Times bestseller, AMERICAN CRISIS on Zoom! Purchase your ticket here: https://t.co/OG9EQzPMyD @CrownPublishing pic.twitter.com/Ax96HC2N6y
— Book Revue (@BookRevueLI) November 9, 2020
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the state’s ethics oversight agency, is responsible for granting approval for public officials seeking to gain outside income of more than $5,000. The Times Union reported that the commission was reviewing the approval it gave to Cuomo’s book deal.
Sources: The Daily Caller: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Is Already The Highest Paid Governor, And He’s About To Get A Raise