New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to receive a $25,000 pay raise in January, even though his state faces a $63-billion budget deficit, and after a coronavirus policy that sent hundreds of elderly citizens to their deaths by forcing them back into their nursing homes.
Cuomo’s salary will be $250,000 after the salary hike, making him the highest-paid governor in the U.S., according to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, several judges and more than 200 lawmakers serving in the state Senate and Assembly have been denied raises by the Commission on Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Compensation because the state does not have the funds.
“We understand the potential for significant budget cuts may be necessary at the state executive level as well if the federal government does not enact additional funding to address the economic hardship caused by COVID-19,” the panel said in a Monday evening report.
“Simply put, the commissioners’ worst fears as articulated in the 2019 Report — a downturn in the state’s finances coupled with an inability to cover increased salary obligations — has unfortunately come to stark reality in the worst possible way,” the panel added.
Cuomo, however, will still get his expected pay raise because only the state legislature can approve or deny his salary via joint resolution.
The Democratic governor will also receive a financial boost from the sales of his book “American Crisis,” a memoir released in October that is about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo was slammed by both Democrats and Republicans for publishing a book during the pandemic, especially since he has refused to be transparent about his many controversial policies, including a disastrous policy forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients.
It’s not clear how much money Cuomo made from book sales, but the memoir did make it onto the New York Times bestsellers list.
He has also said he will donate some of the book’s sales to a coronavirus-related charity.