Lawsuit filed to block governor's pay raise

Dec 19, 2019

A conservative good government group is suing to block a pay hike that would place Gov. Andrew Cuomo among the nation's highest paid governors.

Cuomo's salary is set to jump from $200,000 this year to $225,000 in January and $250,000 in 2021. That is compared to the $179,000 salary the Democratic governor had when he took office in January following his 2018 re-election.

Credit Government Justice Center

The Government Justice Center is seeking a court order to prevent the pay hike in a lawsuit filed in state court this month against Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The nonprofit claims the state's constitution prohibits changing a governor or lieutenant governor's compensation during their term.

“Section 7 of Article XIII of the New York Constitution in plain language prohibits increasing or diminishing the compensation of the governor or lieutenant governor during the term for which they are elected,” said Cameron Macdonald, GJC’s executive director. “By approving retroactive raises three months into the new terms for those offices, the Legislature blatantly ignored this prohibition, and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s payment of the higher salaries also violates the Constitution.”

The Government Justice Center is based in Albany and provides pro bono legal representation for new Yorkers "in the face of improper action by state or local governments."