B-2050, MARCH 14, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 712

B-2050: Mar 14, 1939

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SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS - COMPENSATION - MEMBERS OF ALASKA LEGISLATURE - LEGAL HOLIDAYS IN ALASKA NOT OBSERVED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM COMPENSATION FOR SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS IF IT IS SHOWN THAT THEY WERE IN ATTENDANCE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SUNDAY OR HOLIDAY ON WHICH THERE WAS NO SESSION. FROM THE SECRETARY OF ALASKA IS AS FOLLOWS: A QUESTION HAS ARISEN WITH REFERENCE TO COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE WOULD VERY MUCH APPRECIATE A DECISION. IT IS DESIRED TO KNOW WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE TO CONVENE. ON A DAY WHICH IS OBSERVED AS A HOLIDAY BY THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA BUT WHICH IS NOT SO OBSERVED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

B-2050, MARCH 14, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 712

SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS - COMPENSATION - MEMBERS OF ALASKA LEGISLATURE - LEGAL HOLIDAYS IN ALASKA NOT OBSERVED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM COMPENSATION FOR SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS IF IT IS SHOWN THAT THEY WERE IN ATTENDANCE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SUNDAY OR HOLIDAY ON WHICH THERE WAS NO SESSION, NOTWITHSTANDING THE HOLIDAY MAY BE ONE OBSERVED AS A LEGAL HOLIDAY IN ALASKA BUT NOT SO OBSERVED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 6 COMP. GEN. 415, AMPLIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, MARCH 14, 1939:

LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1939, FROM THE SECRETARY OF ALASKA IS AS FOLLOWS:

A QUESTION HAS ARISEN WITH REFERENCE TO COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE WOULD VERY MUCH APPRECIATE A DECISION.

IT IS DESIRED TO KNOW WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE TO CONVENE, IN ORDER THAT THE MEMBERS MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION, ON A DAY WHICH IS OBSERVED AS A HOLIDAY BY THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA BUT WHICH IS NOT SO OBSERVED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

THE NECESSITY FOR A CLEAR-CUT RULING ON THIS ISSUE AROSE ONLY THIS WEEK. LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY WAS ON SUNDAY AND ALL OFFICES OF THE TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT WERE CLOSED ON THE FOLLOWING DAY, IN CONFORMITY WITH CHAPTER 29, SECTION 1761 OF THE COMPLIED LAWS OF ALASKA, 1933, COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO. ATTACHED HERETO.

ACTING UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THEY WERE EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT FUNDS FOR THEIR PER DIEM ARE APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS, THE LEGISLATORS CONVENED ON FEBRUARY 13, BUT THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN ASKED TO ASCERTAIN FROM YOU WHETHER COMPENSATION WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID THEM IF THEY HAD NOT MET ON THAT DAY.

SECTION 72, TITLE 48, U.S. CODE, IS AS FOLLOWS:

* * * EACH MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE SHALL BE PAID BY THE UNITED STATES THE SUM OF $15 PER DAY FOR EACH DAY'S ATTENDANCE WHILE THE LEGISLATURE IS IN SESSION, AND MILEAGE, IN ADDITION, AT THE RATE OF 15 CENTS PER MILE FOR EACH MILE FROM HIS HOME TO THE CAPITAL AND RETURN BY THE NEAREST TRAVELED ROUTE. (AUG. 24, 1912, C. 387, SEC. 4, 37 STAT. 513.)

SECTION 1761, CHAPTER 29, COMPILED LAWS OF ALASKA, 1933, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

LEGAL HOLIDAYS; ENUMERATION.--- THE FOLLOWING DAYS ARE LEGAL HOLIDAYS, NAMELY; SUNDAY: * * * THE TWELFTH DAY OF FEBRUARY, COMMONLY CALLED LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY; * * * PROVIDED, THAT WHEN ANY HOLIDAY HEREIN PROVIDED FALLS UPON SUNDAY, THE FOLLOWING MONDAY SHALL BE DECLARED TO BE A LEGAL HOLIDAY.

IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 28, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 415, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $15 PER DAY FOR SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS IF ATTENDING SESSIONS, OR IF IT IS SHOWN THEY WERE PRESENT AT THE SESSION IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SUNDAY OR HOLIDAY ON WHICH THERE WAS NO SESSION. MEMBERS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR DAYS ABSENT FROM SESSIONS OR OTHER OFFICIAL DUTIES ON ACCOUNT OF SICKNESS, BUT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR DAYS ABSENT FROM SESSIONS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE LEGISLATURE.

AS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, WAS A HOLIDAY IN ALASKA, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO CONVENE ON THAT DAY IN ORDER THAT MEMBERS MIGHT BE PAID THE PER DIEM COMPENSATION. THAT IS, IF ANY MEMBER WAS IN ATTENDANCE AT THE LAST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, AND AGAIN AT THE FIRST SESSION IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THAT DAY, PER DIEM COMPENSATION WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR THE HOLIDAY EVEN THOUGH THE LEGISLATURE WAS NOT IN SESSION ON THAT DAY.