NEW YORK—Newly sworn in Gov. Andrew Cuomo put his money where his mouth is on Monday, announcing that he will reduce his own salary by 5 percent. The state is facing a $9 billion deficit and Cuomo campaigned on getting tough with the state’s finances.
“Change starts at the top, and we will lead by example,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Families and business owners in every corner of the state have learned to do more with less in order to live within their means, and government must do the same.”
Additionally, Cuomo is expected to call for a freeze on the salaries of state workers at his state of the state speech on Wednesday.
The salary for the governor, $179,000, will be reduced by around $9,000. The governor's salary has not changed since 1999.
Gov. Robert Duffy and newly hired senior members of the Cuomo administration who are filling existing positions in the executive chamber are also taking salary reductions and have agreed to take a pay cut of 5 percent from their predecessors' salaries. This includes the governor's secretary, counsel, director of state operations, counselor, and the chief of staff.
Carol Kellermann, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission, said in a statement, the governor’s cuts “demonstrate that sacrifices will be necessary in all aspects of state government if New York is to regain its fiscal health.”
Cuomo’s tough financial measures are expected to upset state unions. Contracts for most of the nearly 200,000 state employees are set to expire in March, according to NY1 News.
In the election, New York’s Republican Party at one point accused Cuomo of using fiscally conservative Republican principles.
“Cuomo has come out of the gates hoping no one will notice the reforms he’s espousing are based upon Republican policies and principles, which only the Republican Party has advocated and governed by for decades,” said state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox in a statement last May.