About 45 minutes before the calendar turned to 2023, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul gave state lawmakers a gift for the new year: a $32,000 pay raise.
Hochul signed a bill into law late Saturday that hiked the annual base salary of New York’s 213 state lawmakers from $110,000 to $142,000, a 29% increase that now makes them the highest-paid state legislators in the country.
The Democratic governor had previously pledged support for a legislative pay increase, which lawmakers ultimately approved in a special session late last month. But her pledge came before more than a dozen Democrats in the Senate opposed her nomination of Hector LaSalle for New York’s chief judge – an affront that raised the possibility Hochul wouldn’t sign the pay raise into law.
Hochul signed the salary-increase bill into law without further comment around 11:15 p.m. Saturday night, her office announced.
With the new salary, New York lawmakers now outpace California’s state lawmakers, who, as of last year, made about $120,000 a year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
New York lawmakers also receive a $183 per diem payment for each night they spend in Albany, which can be used for lodging and food. About a dozen lawmakers also earn stipends for leadership posts.
The new law will also, for the first time, restrict lawmakers’ ability to earn outside income, capping their private pay at $35,000. But that cap won’t kick in until 2025, giving current lawmakers who exceed that threshold time to decide whether they want to run when their seat is up again in 2024.
The pay increase does not affect Hochul’s salary, which is set by a joint resolution of the Legislature. The governor’s annual salary is $250,000.