What others say: Proposed pay raises should get interesting comments

With the increasing cost of government, public comment is likely on the proposed pay raises for the governor, the lieutenant governor and state commissioners.

The raises are being proposed by the State Officers Compensation Commission, not by the governor. The commission’s responsibility is to review salaries, benefits and allowances for the state’s top officials.

The commission will divulge its reasoning for the raises after its Nov. 6 meeting. But, past governors have pointed out the difficulty in keeping qualified commissioners when competing for them with private enterprise.

However, it is public service. While commissioners shouldn’t be underpaid, neither should they be paid unreasonably in a public position.

The initial proposal includes a $5,873 increase for the governor, bringing his salary to $150,873. The lieutenant governor’s increase would be by $4,658 to $119,658. Commissioners’ increases would be by $9,793 to $146,143 annually.

The increases would take effect, if approved by the Legislature — for which the commission recommended no increase — on July 1, 2014, with another 2.5 percent increase on July 1, 2015.

The commission last recommended raises in January 2011.

The public will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to comment during the legislative session. With local governments being required to cut in order to make budgets balance, and many Alaskans not receiving increases, the comments should be more than interesting.

Ketchikan Daily News,

Nov. 4

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