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State legislators, governor in line for big pay increases

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 December 2018 at 7:50 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: The New York State Capitol Building is shown in September 2013.

ALBANY – New York state legislators, the governor and other state-wide elected officials could get big pay raises.

The legislative pay commission recommended on Thursday that the 213 state legislators have their base salaries boosted from $79,500 to $110,000 in 2019, $120,000 in 2020 and to $130,000 in 2021. It would make the state legislators the highest paid in the nation.

This is the first pay hike for state legislators in 20 years unless legislators vote to reject the increase.

“I have never advocated for a pay increase, especially with so many hard-working New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet,” State Se. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said in a statement. “I ran for office knowing the salary of my position and I accepted that. This past year, I voted against the budget bill that created the pay commission, and I already abide by the reforms recommended by the commission. Regardless of the salary, I will continue to dedicate my full attention to representing the people of my district in the same manner as I always have.”

The commission also voted to limit legislators’ outside income to 15 percent of the legislator salary or $19,500.

More details from the commission will be released on Monday. The commission includes current Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and three former comptrollers.

The governor, the lieutenant governor, attorney general and state comptroller also should get raises, according to the commission.

The New York governor will become the highest paid in the country, going from the current $178,000 to $250,000 in 2022. The salary would be phased in to $200,000 in 2019, $225,000 in 2020 and $250,000 in 2021.

The lieutenant governor’s salary would reach $220,000 in 2021, up from $151,500 now to $190,000 in 2019, $210,000 in 2020.

The salaries for the state comptroller and attorney general will increase from $151,500 in 2018 to $220,000 by 2021.

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