Cuomo to Skip $25,000 Raise With State Facing $16 Billion Gap

Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will forgo his scheduled $25,000 raise for 2021 as the state confronts a $16 billion budget gap for the next fiscal year.

Cuomo on Wednesday said he wouldn’t take the pay hike, following media reports that state lawmakers, judges and state workers would go without one.

“I’m going to ask the commissioners, myself, the other electeds, not to take a raise this year,” Cuomo said at a briefing at the Capitol in Albany. The Democrat said he plans to sign an executive order to that effect given the fiscal situation.

Cuomo, the nation’s highest-paid governor, has a current annual salary of $225,000. His raise was included in 2019 legislation.

The New York State Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation on Monday decided judges, state lawmakers and certain executive branch employees won’t get a raise through 2024, citing the growing budget gap and fiscal uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. The independent panel’s decision takes effect unless legislation modifies or repeals it before Jan. 1.

The state is facing a $14.9 billion budget gap for the fiscal year, which ends on April 1, and an estimated $16 billion gap for the following, according to the state budget office.

To fill the gap, the state has taken measures such as a hiring freeze, withholding certain payments, including a portion of those to local governments, and freezing pay raises for most workers.

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