ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul are set to receive raises.
The news came after members of the state legislature voted on state budget resolutions overnight Sunday into Monday morning. One of the final resolutions taken up was a last-minute addition to the agenda that would give Cuomo a 40 percent pay raise over the next two years.
According to reports, it was added at some point over the weekend when the governor met with the leaders from both chambers to finalize a budget deal. The resolution passed both the Assembly and Senate with no debate, even though it was new item that had previously been left out of the proposed budget up to that point.
The governor’s salary, now at $179,000, will increase to $200,000, retroactive to Jan. 1. He’ll get another raise next year before it reaches $250,000 on Jan. 1, 2021 – making him the highest paid governor in the country.
The higher compensation for Cuomo – as well as Hochul – comes after state lawmakers and top state agencies heads were awarded hikes following the binding recommendations last year by a state-created pay study commission.
The cost of the raises is not a lot of money as a percentage of a $175.5 billion budget. But they were approved even as Cuomo has spent weeks talking about how this would have to be an austere budget year, that the state was facing a multi-billion budget hole and that tough spending choices would have to be made.