Lawmakers reject pay hikes for governor, top Alaska leaders

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature has rejected proposed pay increases for the governor, lieutenant governor and leaders of the major state departments.

A commission tasked with reviewing the salaries of Alaska lawmakers and top state officials in January recommended the increases, saying the salaries had not kept up with inflation. The Alaska State Officers Compensation Commission did not address legislative pay issues.

The House voted Monday 40-0 to reject the pay increases. The Senate voted 19-0 last week to reject them.

There was little discussion around the issue. Some lawmakers said they did not consider the commission’s review to be comprehensive. Members of the largely Democratic House minority said they opposed raising executive pay before addressing issues like education funding.

In its report, the commission said the governor and lieutenant governor last received salary increases in 2011, and proposed raising the salary for governor from $145,000 a year to about $176,000 and for lieutenant governor from $125,000 to about $140,000.

The last increase for department heads was in 2015, the report said. If enacted, their salaries would go from $141,160.50 to approximately $168,000.

Under state law, the recommendations are adopted unless a bill rejecting them is enacted within 60 days after they are submitted. The report was dated Jan. 24. The bill rejecting the salary increases will next go to Gov. Mike Dunleavy for review.

The Legislature last year rejected a commission proposal that called for higher annual salaries for lawmakers but restrictions on the daily allowance they can receive during sessions. The commission as part of that proposal also recommended pay increases for the lieutenant governor and department heads, while Dunleavy declined a salary increase for his position.