How Much Is Your State’s Governor Paid?

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Governor: The boss of your state. The big shot. He or she must be pulling in the big bucks, right?

Yes and no.

Given that the governor of a state is its chief executive officer, that individual could make a lot more as a private-sector CEO — think seven or eight figures instead of five or six.

Some of the nonsalary benefits are pretty sweet, though. For example, most states provide a residence for their top dog, according to the Council of State Governments.

Where does your state’s highest-ranking official rank on the pay scale? Read on and find out. We’ve listed the states from those paying their governors the least to those with the fattest paychecks.

Pay data is from the Council of State Governments except where noted otherwise. Political party affiliations are from the National Governors Association.

Maine

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Governor’s pay: $70,000

Democrat Janet T. Mills, the first woman to serve as Maine’s governor, earns $70,000 a year — less money by far than any other state’s governor. Under state law, that’s been the annual salary for Mills’ position since 1987. Before that, it was $35,000.

“Having the lowest-paid chief executive in the country is not a point of pride for Maine,” states a 2018 editorial published in the Bangor Daily News.

Kansas

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Governor’s pay: $103,121

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly took office in January 2019. The nonprofit Kansas Policy Institute reports that Kelly earned a total pay of $103,121 in 2019.

Wondering what state legislators in Kansas or your state earn? Check out “How Much State Legislators Are Paid Across the Country.”

Arizona

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Governor’s pay: $95,000

Republican Doug Ducey was first elected as governor of Arizona in 2014.

Nebraska

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Governor’s pay: $105,000

Republican Pete Ricketts first took office as governor of Nebraska in 2015.

Wyoming

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Governor’s pay: $105,000

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming was sworn into office in 2019.

South Carolina

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Governor’s pay: $106,078

Republican Henry McMaster was elected South Carolina’s governor in 2018, but he’s served in the role since 2017. Previously elected as lieutenant governor, he became governor in 2017 when Gov. Nikki Haley stepped down to become President Donald Trump’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

New Mexico

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Governor’s pay: $110,000

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, is New Mexico’s second female governor, following the woman she succeeded, Susana Martinez. As governor, Grisham earns a salary of $110,000, according to the New Mexico Sunshine Portal.

Oregon

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Governor’s pay: $110,810

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has been in office since 2015 and is the nation’s first openly bisexual governor, NPR reports. Brown earns a total pay of $110,810, according to The Oregonian.

South Dakota

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Governor’s pay: $118,728

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican elected in 2018, is the first woman to serve as governor of South Dakota. She earns $118,728, according to Open SD, the South Dakota state transparency website.

Montana

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Governor’s pay: $118,397

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, was first elected in 2012. Bullock earned a salary of $118,397 as of 2019, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

Alabama

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Governor’s pay: $120,395

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has been governor of Alabama since 2017. She is the state’s second female governor and the first Republican woman in the state’s top office.

Indiana

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Governor’s pay: $120,669

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, earns a salary of about $120,669, according to the Indiana Transparency Portal. Holcomb won the 2016 election after then-Gov. Mike Pence departed to join the Republican ticket for the White House.

Mississippi

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Governor’s pay: $122,160

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, was sworn into office in January 2020.

The office of governor of Mississippi carried a salary of $122,160 as of 2019.

Colorado

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Governor’s pay: $123,193

As of Jan. 8, 2019, when his term started, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis earns an annual salary of $123,193. The annual pay for his position will be that amount through Jan. 10, 2023, when the Democrat’s current term ends, according to the Colorado General Assembly.

Minnesota

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Governor’s pay: $127,629

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, took office in 2019. Previously, Walz served for more than a decade in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he earned more money — $149,690 in 2016 — the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Iowa

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Governor’s pay: $130,000

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, was elected the Hawkeye State’s first female governor in 2018. Reynolds has been in office since 2017, when Gov. Terry Branstad resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to China.

Louisiana

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Governor’s pay: $130,000

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, was first sworn into office in 2016.

Florida

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Governor’s pay: $130,273

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, was sworn into office in 2019. DeSantis earned $130,273 as governor of the Sunshine State as of 2019, the Orlando Sentinel reported in an op-ed column. The Sentinel writer pointed out that, to become governor, DeSantis took a pay cut from the $174,000 he earned in his previous job as a U.S. congressman.

Missouri

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Governor’s pay: $133,821

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, has been in office since 2018. According to the Missouri Accountability Portal, Parson earns about $133,821 annually.

New Hampshire

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Governor’s pay: $134,581

New Hampshire’s Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, was elected in 2016.

The day after he was inaugurated in 2017, his salary was raised to $132,592, which was then the maximum allowed pay for a governor under New Hampshire state law, according to the Concord Monitor. According to the latest data from the Council of State Governments, released in 2019, he earns $134,581.

North Dakota

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Governor’s pay: $129,096

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, has been in office since 2016. The Council of State Governments notes that he has declined his salary.

Idaho

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Governor’s pay: $138,302

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, has been in office since 2019. He succeeds — and earns significantly more than — fellow Republican Butch Otter. Before Little took office, the governor’s salary was increased to $138,302 annually, which was a 9.5% raise over the $126,302 Otter received, the Idaho Press reported.

A housing stipend adds on an additional $54,608 per year, because Idaho does not have a governor’s mansion for its chief executive.

Alaska

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Governor’s pay: $145,000

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, has served as Alaska chief executive since 2018.

Dunleavy earns $145,000, the Juneau Empire newspaper reported in 2019. That’s not the highest salary in the Governor’s Office, however. The newspaper reported that Donna Arduin, Office of Budget and Management director, tops the salary list at $195,000.

Rhode Island

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Governor’s pay: $145,755

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, has been in office since 2015. She is the first woman to serve as the governor of Rhode Island.

In 2019, Raimondo’s official salary went up from $139,695 to $145,755 as the top five state officers were given a 4.34% pay raise, a step taken every four years, the Providence Journal reported.

Kentucky

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Governor’s pay: $145,992

Democrat Andy Beshear was sworn in as governor of Kentucky in December 2019. Beshear took over after defeating incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who had earned $145,992 plus an $18,000 expense allowance in 2018, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Oklahoma

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Governor’s pay: $147,000

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, was elected in 2018. Stitt earns $147,000 as head of the Sooner State, The Oklahoman newspaper reported in 2019. However, more than 100 state employees earned more than the governor at that time, the paper reported.

North Carolina

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Governor’s pay: $154,743

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, was elected in 2016. Cooper earns $154,743 annually, according to the News & Observer.

Arkansas

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Governor’s pay: $148,134

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, was re-elected to a second term in 2018.

Nevada

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Governor’s pay: $149,573

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, was sworn into office in 2019. Sisolak has pledged to donate his salary to K-12 schools all four years of his term, according to the Council of State Governments.

West Virginia

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Governor’s pay: $150,000

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who has switched political parties a couple of times, was sworn into office in 2017.

Utah

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Governor’s pay: $150,000

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, is currently the nation’s longest-serving governor, having first taken office in 2009.

Connecticut

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Governor’s pay: $150,000

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has been in office since 2019. According to The Connecticut Post, the governor’s salary is dictated by state statute and is set at $150,000 a year.

Lamont has decided to forego his salary, according to the Council of State Governments.

Wisconsin

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Governor’s pay: $152,756

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, was elected in 2018.

Texas

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Governor’s pay: $153,750

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, was first elected in 2014. As a young man, Abbott was partially paralyzed in a freak accident; he was out jogging when an oak tree weakened by a storm fell on him. He uses a wheelchair, the only Texas governor to do so while in office.

Ohio

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Governor’s pay: $154,248

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, was elected in 2018. DeWine earns $154,248 annually, Cleveland.com reported in 2019. DeWine’s salary sounds good, but his lieutenant governor, Jon Husted, earned $176,676 as of 2019, according to Cleveland.com.

Hawaii

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Governor’s pay: $158,700

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, has held the Aloha State’s top job since being sworn into the office in 2014. He is the first U.S. governor of Okinawan descent.

Michigan

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Governor’s pay: $159,300

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, was elected in 2018.

Delaware

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Governor’s pay: $171,000

Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, has been in office since 2017.

New Jersey

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Governor’s pay: $175,000

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, was sworn into office in 2018. According to the New Jersey’s Open Data Initiative, Murphy earn an annual salary of $175,000 as of 2020.

Georgia

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Governor’s pay: $175,000

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, was elected in 2018. Kemp (at center, above) earns $175,000 as Georgia’s chief executive, thanks to a hefty raise approved by the state legislature in 2017. His predecessor earned $139,000.

Virginia

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Governor’s pay: $175,000

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, was elected in 2017.

Illinois

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Governor’s pay: $177,412

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, was sworn into office in 2019. He has decided not to take his salary, according to the Council of State Governments.

Vermont

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Governor’s pay: $178,274

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has been in office since 2017.

Maryland

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Governor’s pay: $180,000

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has been in office since 2015. According to The Baltimore Sun, Hogan earns $180,000.

Washington

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Governor’s pay: $187,353

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has been in office since 2013. In July 2020, his annual salary increased from $182,179 to $187,353, according to the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.

Massachusetts

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Governor’s pay: $185,000

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, began his second term in 2019.

Tennessee

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Governor’s pay: $194,112

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, took office in 2019.

Pennsylvania

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Governor’s pay: $194,850

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has been in office since 2015.

California

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Governor’s pay: $210,000

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, was elected in 2018.

Newsom’s salary jumped from $202,000 to $210,000 in December 2019, according to the Associated Press. That marked the seventh year in a row that the Legislature has given the Golden State governor a pay raise.

But while California’s governor is the second-highest paid in the country, California’s state legislators earn more than their peers in any other state, as we detail in “How Much State Legislators Are Paid Across the Country.”

New York

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Governor’s pay: $225,000

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has been in office since 2011.

His salary was raised to $200,000 in 2019, an increase over the $179,000 paid to New York governors since 1999, under a resolution approved by state legislators in 2019. The measure also raised the governor’s salary to $225,000 in 2020 and will raise it to $250,000 in 2021, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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