State bigwigs slated for higher paychecks

18737767_mGov. Sean Parnell makes $145,000 a year. The Alaska State Compensation Commission this week has recommended Parnell’s compensation be increased almost $6,000 to $150,872.

Governors across the country are paid on average $133,348 according to the Council of State Governments. In 2013, governors in Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee got raises. The average raise was $4,115.

The highest paid governor is in Pennsylvania and the lowest in Maine, being paid respectively $187,256 and $70,000.

The State Compensation Commission also recommended that the lieutenant governor’s salary be increased from $115,000 to $119,657. Salaries for lieutenant governors across the country range from a low of $30,400 in Idaho, to a high of $153,907 in Pennsylvania. Many other states, including those, also have secretaries of state.

The largest increases recommended are for cabinet members who are the commissioners that serve as the principal department heads in state government. Commissioners are currently paid $136,350. That would increase almost $10,000 to $146,142.

The recommendations are slated to take effect in the new fiscal year on July 1 unless the Legislature passes a bill denying the recommended increases within 60 days of their submission in the 2014 legislative session.

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6 thoughts on “State bigwigs slated for higher paychecks

  1. Lynn Willis

    The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the UAA estimates that Alaska can now support annual state budget expenditures of around 5 billion dollars. Our Governor has line item veto power granted by Article 2, Section 15 of the Alaska Constitution. Therefore, the Governor is authorized to reduce state expenditures. Governor Parnell’s last two approved state budgets were 7.9 and 6.8 billon dollars. A 6.8 thousand million dollar state budget (a billion is a thousand million) is hardly impacted by a few raises of even $10,000 to state executives. So the amount of these raisers may not be a valid concern.
    The problem I see is the process that will result in these salary increases. As stated, while a separate appointed commission recommends these increases, which is appropriate, these recommendation go into effect automatically unless the legislature passes legislation to reverse the decision. This allows these raises to be done at “arms length” without a positive decision by any elected official. This is not unlike the legislature recently granting itself effective annual pay raises of $20,000 per Senator and $12,000 per Representative simply by allowing a legislative committee to create “office expense accounts” that they can each keep as personal income. The same methodology of passive approval is used to allow these raises to be paid.
    So how many of the folks receiving these raises stated they will resign if not paid more for what they do?

  2. Maureen

    These salary recommendations seem to be fair and in line. Its too easy to complain abouit our piublic officials. Let’s support fair compensation.

  3. Salmonstalker

    Jane P. Is on to something here. I’d like to know what legislators think about this. They prrobably will condone and help cover his bad ways. Sick of politicians stuffing their nests with tax money. Joe Miller is my guy. He’s one solid dude. Voted for Walker, now probably will vote for Parnell or maybe if the Libertarians run someone for Gov, I’ll think about that candidate. Like the anchorage mayor too even though I live in the Butte area. Glad to associate with Jane P’s views. Bet my man Stoltze is upset with Treadwell stealing from government.

  4. Jane P.

    The Governor has tremendous responsibilities and works 24/7. I think he deserves more compensation. I neve thought about Treadwell campaigning all the time on the state dime. That should be illegal. I talked to one of my best friends who knows a lot more about politics than me and they agree. Treadwell should be impeached or whatever such action is appropriate.

  5. FbksWonk

    Sounds like the governor’s paycheck is in the realm of where it should be. Likewise, the commissioners have extremely demanding and responsible jobs. They too deserve an increase. I do have a problem paying the lite governor more. What does he do ? Sure, I understand that he oversees elections but the real work is done by the Director of the Division of Elections. I understand that he is the “keeper of the state seal” for whatever that means. From my perspective, all most lite govs really do is wake up each morning to see if the gov is still alive and well. Which brings me to the next point I’d like to make. Mead Treadwell spends virtually ALL his time campaigning. I know there is no legal obligation that he resigns; however, continuing to collect a state paycheck while campaigning 90% of the time is unconscionable. Anyone with a halfway respectable moral compass would recognize that this isn’t right. Treadwell should resign his position or refuse to take compensation for doing nothing. I have been repulsed by his lack of moral integrity. There are already too many politicians trying to enrich themselves at the public trough.

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