Pat Pitney, hired as Legislative Finance director by the Alaska Legislature, starts off with a salary that is roughly what the departing director, David Teal, was making after 20 years — $225,000, including benefits.
She is making in the neighborhood of what former Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin was paid by the Dunleavy Administration. That was the same salary Pitney was paid when she worked as OMB director for Gov. Bill Walker.
She is at a Range 28 R, which makes her one of the highest-paid workers in the State of Alaska payroll.
Pitney was chosen over other applicants by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.
Pitney was the author of the failed “Walker payroll tax,” which never got off the ground with the largely tax-averse Legislature. She and Walker presented a budget to the Legislature in November of 2018, that they declared was “balanced.”
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s team came on board, and said it was anything but balanced, and that it would require massive cuts to balance. In the end, the governor was bargained down on those cuts, and the next budget is still $1.5 billion short of funds to balance with incoming revenues.
Pitney, a highly political pick, is still engaged with the Walker Administration; she was photographed on social media this weekend at a going away party for the Walkers, who are relocating to Boston so that Walker can teach a class at Harvard University.
The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is made up of six Democrats and six Republicans, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats, 3 to 2 in the Legislature. The Senate has 13 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and the House has 23 Republicans, and 17 Democrats/undeclareds.