Cuomo to become highest paid US governor

Posted at 1:55 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 18:17:22-04

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will become the nation's highest paid governor thanks to a pay raise approved by lawmakers as part of the new state budget.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly voted early Monday to gradually increase the Democratic executive's salary from the current $179,000 to $250,000 on Jan. 1, 2021.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul's compensation will go up too, from $151,500 to $220,000 in 2021.

The increases were recommended by a state pay commission last year but required legislative approval.

In the Assembly, it passed 92 to 46.
In the Senate, it passed 36 to 24. Two downstate democratic senators voted against the raise.

Hochul said she was unaware of the raise until it passed early Monday. Still, she said she would have supported the commission's findings even if it called for a pay cut.

"I've never been in this for the money," Hochul said. "I was a town boardmember, and never voted for a pay increase. This is what people independent from me have determined the position is justified at."

Republican Senator Patrick Gallivan voted against the resolution. "It should have been something fully discussed by the Legislature in daylight, and not in the dark of the night at the very last minute," he said.

The last time salaries for the governor and lieutenant governor were increased was 1999.

Lawmakers received their first pay increase in nearly two decades in January, when their base salary went from $79,500 to $110,00. Their pay will ultimately rise to $130,000 in 2021.