State Legislature has until Saturday to reject the pay raise an independent
commission has recommended for them, or it will go into effect automatically on
January 1st next year.
member Alaska State Officers Compensation Commission was created during last
year's legislative session. It includes a couple former legislators. They were
charged with reviewing the salaries and benefits for the legislature, the
governor, lieutenant governor and department heads. The commission announced
earlier this year that it felt raises were needed across the board, and that
legislators should be paid a flat 50,400-dollars per year.
legislators are given a fixed annual salary of just over 24-thousand dollars,
and an additional 27-thousand for per diem during the legislative session. They
are also allowed to collect per diem during the nine months the legislature is
not in session, too. During the interim, a legislator can collect 150-dollars a
day if he or she works at least four hours on constituent matters, or attends a
meeting on legislative or public business. Travel time is included.
blog, Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman said the most troublesome aspect of
the current system of pay is that some claim far more per diem than others,
creating an "aura" of impropriety when the public sees a large disparity
example, according to state documents, former Kodiak Representative Gabrielle
LeDoux received over 56-thousand dollars in 2008, with 48-hundred of that in
interim per diem. Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens received over 62-thousand
dollars, with 10,650-dollars being interim per diem. Former Bethel
Representative Mary Nelson made nearly 78-thousand dollars last year. Her
interim per diem was actually higher than her salary, at 26,250-dollars. John
Cowdry, Jay Ramras and Gary Wilken all claimed no interim per diem.
was unavailable to comment this (Thursday) afternoon because he was in the House
Finance hearing on the Federal Stimulus Funds, but he wrote that he feels the
flat rate of just over 50-thousand dollars would be a much more transparent
said he has not received any reaction from his constituents in District 36 yet,
but would like some soon. There is a resolution before the House that could be
heard before Saturday's deadline.