In 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) was the highest paid of the 50 state governors. Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) was the lowest paid. The average gubernatorial salary across all states was $143,270 in 2018, a 2.4% increase over 2017. These updated figures were published in the Council of State Governments’ 2019 Book of States.
The five governors with the highest base salaries were:
- California Governor Jerry Brown: $201,680
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: $200,000
- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf: $194,850
- Tennessee Governor Bill Lee: $194,112
- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker: $185,000
The five governors with the lowest base salaries were:
- Maine Governor Paul LePage: $70,000
- Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper: $90,000
- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey: $95,500
- Oregon Governor Kate Brown: $98,600
- Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer: $99,636
Gubernatorial salaries increased in 17 states by, on average, $9,993, or 6.6%: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Georgia had the largest salary increase, 25.6%.
Gubernatorial salaries in the remaining 33 states remained the same.
Gubernatorial salaries are typically determined by a state’s constitution or statute. Most often, the salary portion of a governor’s compensation is defined by law, but additional benefits, such as insurance, official residence, and other work-related equipment, may be established by state agencies, custom, or other methods.