ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

The current practice was set by the previous Legislative Council last December.

Alaska lawmakers are paid $54,000 annually in salary, but are also given additional office account funds which can be used for constituent events, staff training and other office related expenses.

Each representative gets $16,000 per year and senators receive $20,000 for their office accounts. 

Rep. Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage) took over as Legislative Council Chairman earlier this year. He researched options and said he concluded that having fully accountable office accounts was the only viable option to ensure full compliance with a state law that does not list leftover office money as part of a legislator's compensation.          

Fully accountable means legislators will submit receipts for expenses to the Legislative Affairs Agency and be reimbursed.

Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) introduced legislation earlier this year to make address the lack of accountability with office accounts.

“I commend Legislative Council for fixing the problems with the old rules and reinstating accountability to how legislators spend public dollars on office expenses,” Kawasaki said in statement Thursday.

The changes to the policy will take effect in 2014.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report