Cuomo plans to defer scheduled $25,000 pay raise in 2021

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(WRGB file photo)

(WHAM) - Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to defer his scheduled salary increase in January.

The Democratic governor announced his decision Wednesday during a briefing with reporters in Albany.

The scheduled $25,000 pay raise on top of his current $225,000 salary would have made Cuomo the highest paid governor in the United States.

Cuomo said he would defer his scheduled raise and planned to ask other elected officials to do so, saying the state's economic problems do not allow for it. Once agreed upon, the decision would be made an executive order.

Based on the current economic climate, the New York State Salary Commission recommended last week that pay increases for state judges, state legislators and members of the executive branch be withheld for the next four years. In its report, the commission cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant reason for holding off on that pay bump.

"The [New York State] Department of Budget has predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause a $60.5 billion loss through the 2024 [fiscal year]," the report stated, adding that an 11.4 percent unemployment rate is expected to be the short-term average.

"Granting raises to public servants, no matter how much they might otherwise deserve them, is simply not possible at this time," the report concludes.