ALBANY – New York's state lawmakers and agency commissioners are in line to get a major pay hike over the next three years, their first salary increase in 20 years.
The state's 213 lawmakers would see their base salary jump from the current $79,500 to $130,000 in 2021 — a 63 percent increase — under a recommendation Thursday from the state Compensation Committee, a panel of current and former comptrollers tasked with examining salaries for top state officials.
The increase would be phased in over three years, first with a jump to $110,000 in January.
Agency commissioners, who make between $90,000 and $136,000, would see their pay increase at a similar rate, with top commissioners making $220,000 in 2021.
But the recommendation, which will take effect Jan. 1 unless lawmakers step in and change it, would come with significant strings attached for state legislators, who would be forced to limit their income from outside, private sources to 15 percent of their base salary starting in 2020.
Stipends for committee posts and leadership positions, which currently range from $9,000 to $41,500 a year, would be eliminated except for the very top lawmakers, according to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a member of the committee.
The committee voted to approve the basics of its recommendation at a meeting Thursday, with a full report to follow by Monday.
"We looked at comparables and New York does not compare well to other jurisdictions and there haven’t been raises in 20 years," said H. Carl McCall, the SUNY Board of Trustees chair and former state comptroller who led the committee.
Statewide elected officials would also be in line for a raise under the plan.
The committee recommended increasing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's salary from the current $179,000 to $250,000 over the next three years, while Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul's would increase from $151,500 to $220,000 over the same time period.
Those governor and lieutenant governor's salary increases would have to be approved by lawmakers, unlike the committee's other recommendations.
The attorney general and state comptroller's salaries, meanwhile, would increase from $151,500 to $220,000 by 2021, according to the committee's vote.
As it stands, California pays its state lawmakers a base salary of $107,000, the highest rate in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.