The complete 2020 New York state government payroll is now posted, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. 

The updated database includes the names, titles, base pay rates and total pay of more than 289,000 individuals who worked in the state’s executive, legislative or judicial branches at any point during calendar year 2020. Taxpayers can search state government payrolls dating back to 2008 on the website. 

During 2020, the data show: 

  • The highest-paid employee on the state payroll was Dr. Robert Corona, Jr.the CEO of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. His pay totaled $787,288. 
  • A total of 1,263 state employees, including 1,228 executive branch workers, were paid more than Governor Andrew Cuomo’s  $225,000 salary. 
  • Included in the 100 highest-paid state employees are three SUNY coaches. At SUNY Buffalo, football coach Lance Leipold was paid $686,845 (#4) and basketball coach James Whitesell was paid $409,540 (#95). At SUNY Stony Brook, football coach Charles Priore was paid $424,180 (#80). 
  • All but two of 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). 
  • Four of the top 100 earners received six-figure raises. They were Dr. Lawrence ChinDean, College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, whose base pay was boosted $373,388 to $600,000Carolyn Santorapromoted to assistant vice president of hospital affairs at Stony Brook Hospital, whose base pay was increased $216,297 to $432,125Patricia Winstonvice president at Downstate Medical Center, whose base pay was raised $122,802 to $402,198; and Fotis Sotiropoulos, promoted to vice president of academic affairs at SUNY Stony Brook, whose base pay boosted $108,298 to $391,711. 

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

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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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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