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Raises for Parnell, other Alaska officials blessed by pay commission

Pat Forgey
Loren Holmes photo

JUNEAU -- A pay raise proposal for leaders in the State of Alaska's executive branch has been approved by the State Officers Compensation Commission and will be forwarded to the Alaska Legislature during next year's session. It will take effect automatically unless rejected by the body.

The commission made its recommendations and held a public hearing before last week's announcement of an unanticipated $2 billion budget shortfall.

The commission, chaired by former Sen. Rick Halford, was created in 2008 to remove current officeholders from the politically dicey task of setting their own salaries.

This year's recommendations, adopted unanimously, call for raises for Gov. Sean Parnell, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and top state department heads like commissioners and Attorney General Michael Geraghty. None had sought the increases.

Parnell currently makes $145,000 a year, with the commission saying he should instead get $150,872 starting July 1, which would include next year's cost-of-living raise, and then get another 2.5 percent the following year. Treadwell will get a raise to $119,672, with another 2.5 increase next year.

The department heads will get increases from $136,350 to $146,142.

Legislators are not proposed for raises this year.

State Personnel Director Nicki Neal said the raises were given final approval Dec. 4 and will be submitted to the Legislature within 10 days of the beginning of next year's session. The Legislature then has 60 days to decide whether to reject them, which would require passage of bills in both houses. 

Contact Pat Forgey at pat(at)alaskadispatch.com