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    Dunleavy urges quick legislative action on constitutional amendment to secure PFD

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    With the fist Special Session of the Alaska Legislature set to end in a little over a week, Gov. Mike Dunleavy is pressing lawmakers to act on his proposed constitutional amendment, SJR 6, which aims to protect the Alaska Permanent Fund and future payouts to Alaskans of Permanent Fund Dividends.

    Dunleavy’s proposal would ensure that profits from the fund are equally shared between Alaska residents and the state government, with the aim of easing the budget deficit that annually plagues the state.

    The governor’s proposal also looks to protect the $1 billion power cost equalization endowment, which lowers electricity prices in Alaska communities, by depositing this money into the Permanent Fund’s corpus.

    “I am ready and willing to continue the conversation with legislators to come to a solution regarding the Permanent Fund,” Dunleavy stated June 10. “My proposed plan, SJR 6, provides consistency and security to Alaskans, to the State, and to the Permanent Fund itself.”

    He noted that the 50/50 split of Permanent Fund earnings would balance the budget within five years without any “broad-based taxes.”

    The idea that the Permanent Fund belongs to the government and the PFD ‘costs’ the state money is revisionist history and utterly unsupported by 34 years of statutory PFDs – this is Alaskans’ resource wealth,” Dunleavy maintained. “Any proposal that treats the Permanent Fund as the Legislature’s personal piggy bank will not work.”

    In order to pass the Legislature, the governor’s plan needs 27 House and 14 Senate votes. If successful it would go before Alaskans for a final vote.

    “The point of no return is fast approaching,” he said in a June 9 video. “If we’re gong to save the PFD, we must do it this year.”

    Under Dunleavy’s plan the PFD would pay out $2,350 to each Alaskan this year, the largest in history. Last year the PFD was $992.

    Dunleavy originally campaigned with the promise to restore the traditional statutory payment of the PFD, which was halted in 2016 under former Gov. Bill Walker. Dunleavy’s efforts, however, have gained zero traction in the State Legislature. His current proposal is a compromise to try and salvage the PFD for future generations.

    The governor’s proposal is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on June 11 at 1:30 p.m.

    TAKING ACTION

    • Click here to contact members of the Senate Finance Committeee.
    • Click here to watch the June 11 hearing that begins at 1:30 p.m.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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    8 Comments

    1. So it’s what we have been saying for the last 17 years. The state wastes money on Un needed projects like the traffic circles in soldotna and they are like children with a 5 dollar bill burning a hole in their pocket and cant manage money so now they want to rob the residents of their dividend. They’re not going to stop until they get it ALL

    2. The dividend program belongs to all Alaskan’s as compensation for our lack of private land and sub-surface property rights.

    3. What some don’t seem to get, I don’t give a rats butt about oil! I do care about my pfd and understand it comes from oil. No PFD no support for oil. Then the silver spoons are going to pay taxes anyway.

    4. Don’t just comment here – Contact the committee members Directly! The link above works. I tailored mine to each one so it doesn’t appear to be a form letter. We MUST protect our pfd from these thieves in Juneau. The legislature MUST be moved out of Juneau into the building they Already Own in Anchorage. Alaskans have the right to voice our opinions directly, face to face. Hiding in Juneau benefits NO ONE. Except the politicians that do not want to be held personally responsible by their constituents.

      • Thank you Timothy! The whole point of this article is to motivate people to cot act their legislators, not just vent their frustrations. The former far outweighs the latter.

    5. The PFD was given for the states right to mineral resources.. to then garnish the money earned from our states resources is just like being Double Billed.
      The state got what it had coming… but to then ROB the citizens without consent is just criminal.
      -What ever happened to Tar&Feathering?? Seems time the criminals are made an example of.

    6. Dumbleavy YA ” The idea that the Permanent Fund belongs to the government and the PFD ‘costs’ the state money is revisionist history and utterly unsupported by 34 years of statutory PFDs… “Any proposal that treats the Permanent Fund as the Legislature’s personal piggy bank will not work.” Do you think we are
      as dumb as you ! The 82′ LAW does just that , we don’t need your stinking shell game / look the other way government SJR2 Constitutional amendment!… the current Law on the books WORKS Follow the LAW! That’s what you toke an Oath to! Governor” “If we’re gong to save the PFD, we must do it this year.” Horse puckey … it needs no saving it needs paying ! Save your self double speak FORKED TONGUE : To speak with a forked tongue means to tell lies, to not be truthful, to be deceptive. To speak with a forked tongue may be interpreted as saying one thing but meaning another. ! I call you for what you are !

    7. The Original Permanent Fund Dividend Formula isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed, altered or re-nogotiated! Governor Dunleavy has correctly stated that the PFD represents a Covenant made between the State and the People of Alaska, and is something that should be honored. Not to honor the Original PFD Formula, is an encroachment on the People of Alaska’s share of the State’s Oil, Gas, and Mineral Wealth and diminishes public trust in our State Government. The PFD should remain Intact and Our State Government should be down sized to provide Essential Services while operating within a budget that’s sustainable in the long term without pillaging the PFD or our Constitutional Reserves.

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