Good news for Palin: Panel says she deserves a raise

A new state commission says the Alaska governor ought to get a $25,000 a year raise.

Asked to figure out how much Alaska should pay its top officials, the group recommends pay hikes for the lieutenant governor, department heads and legislators too.

"We need the best people we can get to do some pretty tough jobs against some often incredibility well-financed, single-minded corporate and individual interests," said Rick Halford, a former legislator and chairman of the new State Officers Compensation Commission.

Deciding how much to pay themselves is always a thorny proposition for politicians who answer to an ever-skeptical public. Today's national recession and relatively low oil prices wouldn't make it any easier.

Enter the new five-member commission, created by the Legislature earlier this year to take the decision out of lawmakers' hands. The members are appointed by the governor -- with two selected from lists recommended by legislative leaders.

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