State Journal: 'Double dip' trips; Balancing act
Whenever Gov. Wallace Wilkinson of Kentucky leaves the Bluegrass State, Lieut. Gov. Brerton Jones takes the reins of government--and some cash out of the Governor's pocket.
Under the state constitution, Mr. Jones is entitled to the Governor's pay when he serves as acting chief executive. The "double dipping" feature is expected to add between $5,000 and $10,000 to his $52,028 salary this year alone.
While many people would welcome the extra pay, Mr. Jones believes the provision allowing it "is silly," said one of his aides, Jim Newberry.
And at a press conference this month, Mr. Jones announced that he will commit at least $5,000 from his double salary--or an equal amount from his own wallet in the future if Mr. Wilkinson decides to stay close to home--to fund an in-state student exchange program.
According to Mr. Newberry, the Lieutenant Governor has asked each of the state's high schools to designate one 11th grader for the next school year to participate in the exchange program. Schools in different parts of the state will be matched, and students will spend a two-week period "taking classes, going to football games on Friday, the drive-in restaurant on Saturday, and church on Sunday" with their host families, he said.
Mr. Newberry said the aim of the program is to develop better understanding among people in different regions of the state.
"In Kentucky, people in the east don't know anything about the west, and the north doesn't know a thing about the south," he said. "We hope to overcome some of the state's history of regionalism."
Gov. Rose Mofford of Arizona hopes her nomination of Sidney Grange to fill a vacant seat on the state board of education will be received more warmly by lawmakers than her first choice for the post.
Earlier this year, Ms. Mofford selected Bill R. Williams, superintendent of schools in Flagstaff, to replace Ray Borane, a Hispanic whose term had expired.
However, Mr. Williams, who is white, was forced to withdraw his name from consideration for the position after some lawmakers criticized the Governor for choosing an Anglo for the slot.
Mr. Grange, superintendent of the Antelope district, is also white and also will be subject to Senate confirmation.
But a spokesman for the Governor said Ms. Mofford believes Mr. Grange's nomination will be less controversial because Mr. Williams also faced criticism about his record on hiring minorities and his district's financial problems.--tm