NY Governor Cuomo set to get $25k pay rise despite massive budget deficit

New York may be facing a budget crisis, but Andrew Cuomo is set to receive a pay rise in January that will bring his salary to $250,000, the highest for any governor in the US.

Approved by the Senate and Assembly last year, Cuomo’s raise will come into effect on January 1 and increase his $225,000 annual salary by $25,000. 

Other public officials receiving raises are Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

New York’s budget has been a topic of concern for Cuomo, who has insisted that federal assistance is needed to combat a deficit that is projected to top $60 billion over the next four years.

“We don’t have a shovel big enough to dig out of [the deficit]. It’s the biggest number in history. We need help from Washington,” the governor said on Tuesday.

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Federal funds, according to Cuomo, are the state’s only hope of coming close to balancing the budget.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put more pressure on the state, with New York City, which has some of the strictest pandemic orders, facing an unemployment rate that is nearly double the national average. More than one million are out of work.

News of pay increases for public officials amid the budget crisis has become a point of criticism as January draws closer. The Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation (CLJEC) released a report this week recommending no pay rises amid New York’s “extremely precarious” financial situation.

“Granting raises to public servants, no matter how much they might otherwise deserve them is simply not possible at this time,” the seven-member panel said.

Cuomo, already a controversial figure for his handling of the pandemic and the release of his book on leadership which he’s been promoting for weeks now and will make an undisclosed sum, has faced the brunt of criticism over the pay-rise news.

“Not to mention the hundreds of thousands (maybe over a million) that he was given for his insulting ‘leadership’ book. While thousands suffer and died,” Fox News’ Janice Dean, arguably the governor’s most vocal media critic, tweeted in reaction to news of his increase in salary.

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