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Cuomo Says He'll Defer Scheduled Pay Raise Amid NY's $63B Budget Deficit

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Photo Credit: Governor's Office

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he'll defer a scheduled pay bump in 2021 amid the state's massive budget deficit.

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Cuomo was due to receive the $25,000 pay raise in January, bringing his total annual compensation to $250,000, the highest salary for a governor in the country.

The raise was part of legislation already passed in 2019.

At the same time, other New York officials’ salaries will stay stagnant year-over-year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo said on Wednesday, Nov. 18 shortly after news of the raise became public that he planned to defer the pay increase and would ask other elected officials to follow suit due to the state's economic conditions.

Cuomo’s raise is unaffected by the recommendation because the legislation had already been passed. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and New York State Attorney General Letitia James are all also reportedly receiving pay raises.

According to a new report from the New York Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation, "it will not recommend any compensation increases for the next four years for New York’s judges, legislators, or executive branch officials.”

It is possible that New York’s budget deficit in 2021 could reach more than $63 billion over the next four years following the COVID-19 outbreak and a murky financial outlook moving forward

“Since the issuance of the 2019 Report New York’s financial condition has substantially deteriorated, due to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a far greater degree than any commissioner could have predicted,” the report stated.

“The Financial Year 2021 Enacted Budget Financial Plan states in no uncertain terms that New York state’s ‘economic outlook for (fiscal year) 2021 is bleak.’”

Cuomo, who is now the chairman of the National Governors Association, has been one of the loudest voices calling on the federal administration to provide funding to states to help offset the financial wreckage the pandemic has caused at all levels of government.

“Only the federal government, with its central bank, the world’s reserve currency, and unlimited borrowing authority, has the power to avoid these devastating consequences,” the Association said in an earlier statement. “It is unconscionable that our federal leaders have failed to act."

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