The complete 2017 New York state government payroll is now posted on, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.

The updated database includes the names, titles, base pay rates and total pay of more than 341,000 individuals who worked in the state’s executive, legislative or judicial branches at any point during calendar year 2017. Taxpayers can search state government payrolls dating back to 2008 on the website.

As of 2017, the data show:

  • The highest-paid employee on the state payroll was Carlos Pato, dean of the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. His pay totaled $746,626.
  • 3,568 state government employees were paid more than Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $179,000 salary.
  • The 100 highest-paid state government employees worked for either the State University of New York (SUNY) or the City University of New York (CUNY). The list includes two SUNY football coaches: Stony Brook’s Charles Priore at $418,219 and Buffalo’s Lance Leipold at $413,992.
  • Four SUNY campus and hospital administrators received annual salary increases of more than $100,000. They were Thomas Gray, vice president for finance and CFO of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, whose base pay was boosted by $225,000 (90 percent) to $475,000; Ayman El-Mohandes, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health, whose base pay was boosted by $150,000 (57 percent) to $415,000; Mitchell Wallerstein, president of Baruch College, whose base pay was boosted by $100,000 (33%) to $400,000; and James B. Milliken, chancellor of CUNY, whose base pay was boosted by $180,000 (37 percent) to $670,000. Milliken announced recently that he will be retiring at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

The CUNY records, which are unusually numerous this year, may reflect a recently settled contract between the university and its largest union, the Professional Staff Congress.

Not reflected in the data are costs of pensions, health insurance for employees and retirees, and other benefits.

Please note that the website is experiencing some technical difficulties due to a possible denial of service attack by parties unknown.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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