Legislature rejects pay raises for top officials

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Legislature on Friday rejected proposed pay increases for the governor, lieutenant governor and commissioners.

The House voted 38-0 to reject the recommendations of the State Officers Compensation Commission. SB125 passed the Senate 19-0 last month.

The commission proposed the increases as a way for those positions to catch up with pay increases for other executive-branch employees.

But Rep. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, said in light of budget constraints, the timing of the recommendations wasn’t good.

Gov. Sean Parnell had already said he would decline a pay increase for himself.

The commission recommended raising the governor’s salary from $145,000 a year to $150,873, effective July 1, and the lieutenant governor’s salary from $115,000 to $119,658. It proposed giving each another 2.5 percent increase beginning July 1, 2015.

The commission also called for raising the salaries of the main department heads, generally referred to as commissioners, from $136,350 to $146,143, with an increase of 2.5 percent beginning July 1, 2015.

It recommended that deputy commissioners who become commissioners in the same department with no break in service keep their current salary and subsequent statutory increases in pay if they make more than the commissioner. The panel said 13 of 23 deputy commissioners currently receive higher salaries than their respective commissioners.

Parnell’s legislative office said for the raises to be rejected, a bill disapproving them must be enacted, or signed, within 60 days from the date the report was submitted to the Legislature.

The commission’s final report was dated Jan. 27.

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Online:

SB125: http://bit.ly/1cHo83P

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