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Commission recommendations pave way for Cuomo, legislators' pay raises

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo presents the fourth part

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo presents the fourth part of his "2015 Opportunity Agenda" during a presentation at New York University on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. Photo Credit: Office of the Governor / Kevin P. Coughlin

ALBANY -- A pay-raise commission will report its recommendations for raising the salaries of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislators after Nov. 15, 2016 -- paving the way for salary hikes after the next election cycle.

Lawmakers approved the pay-raise commission as part of the 2015-16 state budget. Its creation likely paves the way for their first raise in the 21st century. Any increase would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2017.

State lawmakers receive a base pay of $79,500, a rate that was last changed in December 1998. Many lawmakers also get extra stipends for leading committees or serving in party leadership posts, which boost average pay closer to $100,000. Traditionally, any pay hike for legislators also means a pay hike for the governor, other statewide elected officials and state-agency commissioners.

Cuomo has said flat salaries have hurt his attempts to hire commissioners to lead state agencies.

Lawmakers talked about boosting their pay last November, but eventually decided to hand the task to the new commission.

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