State lawmakers and executive branch commissioners should receive a boost in their pay, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a radio interview on Thursday.
Members of the state Legislature could receive their first pay increase since 1998 based on the decision of a commission that is also considering a salary hike for commissioners in Cuomo’s administration.
Lawmakers earn a base pay of $79,500, though many earn more with stipends for leadership posts.
“They come to Albany, they’re away from their family for days on end, they make tremendous sacrifices,” Cuomo said on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom.
“And I know it’s not popular to say, but I believe they deserve a raise. I believe there should be reforms also, but I do believe they deserve a raise. I believe my commissioners, the senior level positions, to be competitive, to get the quality you want, you have to raise the salaries, many of which haven’t been adjusted in 20 to 25 years. And you want quality in government, and you want to be able to attract people, you know, many of the people who I attract now, frankly, they have to be in a position where they’re financially independent.”
Cuomo has previously said this month that he also wants lawmakers next year to make the Legislature a full-time job and ban outside income.