Andrew Cuomo will get a raise in 2021, but lawmakers won't. Here's why.
Note: Since this story published, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will forgo his planned raise in 2021 and ask other statewide officials to do the same.
ALBANY – New York lawmakers, judges and commissioners will not be getting a pay raise through 2024 unless the state Legislature steps in.
A state panel charged with examining the salary levels of many New York officials issued a final report Monday recommending against a pay hike for the next four years, citing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that has devastated the state's finances.
The panel's recommendation will take effect unless state lawmakers decide to overturn them prior to Jan. 1, which is not expected.
Lawmakers could also decide to increase their own pay by passing a new law after the start of 2021, but the increase wouldn't take effect until 2023 at the earliest.
"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 wrote in its report.
The panel's decision does not invalidate a scheduled $25,000 raise next year for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who currently receives a $225,000 salary. Cuomo is the highest paid governor in the country.
Cuomo's pay through 2021 was set by a resolution approved by the state Legislature, which sets the governor and lieutenant governor's pay rate under the state Constitution.
New York's 213 state lawmakers make a base salary of $110,000, with some also receiving an additional stipend for leadership positions. Lawmakers are also paid a per diem each day they are in Albany.
Judges, meanwhile, are paid varying rates, with state Supreme Court judges making about $210,000.
A prior iteration of the Compensation Commission last recommended raises for lawmakers and statewide officials in 2018, which were to be implemented through this year.
But a state Supreme Court invalidated planned raises for lawmakers in 2019 and 2020 because the panel made them contingent on lawmakers facing strict limits on the amount of private income they can earn, which the court found exceeded the panel's legal authority.
Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@Gannett.com or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.
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