Panel advances pay plan for top state officials

JUNEAU— The State Officers Compensation Commission on Wednesday advanced a proposal recommending pay raises for Alaska’s governor, lieutenant governor and principal department heads.

The panel also recommended that deputy commissioners who replace commissioners in their departments without a break in service can retain their rate of pay if it’s higher than that of commissioner — while serving as commissioner. Such employees also would get any statutory pay increases that went along with their old jobs while serving as commissioner.

Commission member Gordon Harrison said at the Anchorage meeting that it seemed the rationale behind that motion was to not penalize a deputy commissioner for taking the job of commissioner. If the board wants to remove financial disincentives, he said the pay increases should apply.

The commission proposal would raise the governor’s salary from $145,000 a year to $150,873. The lieutenant governor’s salary would go from $115,000 to $119,658. Each would get another 2.5 percent increase beginning July 1, 2015.

Salaries for the heads of the 14 main state departments, mainly referred to as commissioners, would go from $136,350 to $146,143, with increases of 1 percent beginning July 1, 2014, and 2.5 percent beginning July 1, 2015, in line with an employee compensation bill that passed the last legislature.