Three days on the job and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already taken a whack at the state’s budget deficit: He’s promised to cut his pay–and the salaries of top aides–by 5 percent. Returning $8,950 from his $179,000 salary may not seem like much, but analysts say it’s likely a precursor to efforts to impose a freeze on all state salaries in the fiscal year beginning April 1. New York faces a $315 million deficit this fiscal year and a $9 billion shortfall next year.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick took a more modest slice from his pay–one-half of 1 percent–and imposed the same cut on state legislators under a law that requires him to adjust salaries on the basis of how the state’s wage-earners are doing. Patrick’s $140,535 salary will go down about $700, and legislators will lose about $300 from their base pay of $61,440–but not from added compensation for such things as holding leadership positions. The state faces a deficit of up to $2 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1.