Alaska Governor Dividend Bill Deserves to Be Heard

Anchorage, AK (STL.News) With six days remaining before the end of the Fourth Special Session, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy says the time for Legislators to act is more pressing than ever, given additional revenues for the State and sharply rising energy costs for Alaskans.

“If the Legislature is unwilling to make the Permanent Fund Dividend whole, Legislators could, at least, make a decision to pay a supplemental PFD under the formula in my 50-50 Fiscal Plan, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said.

“It’s entirely within our capacity to help residents manage their bills with a supplemental PFD of $1,236.  The State is now making hundreds of millions of dollars in additional oil production taxes, while Alaskans — recovering from job loss and the pandemic economic slowdown – are now facing rising energy costs,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Inflation is at a 13-year high, with gasoline, diesel, and heating oil prices in Alaska rising sharply.

Alaska North Slope Crude price gains are at a seven-year high in the upper $80 per barrel, adding additional revenues through State production taxes.  The value of the Alaska Permanent Fund experienced an unprecedented increase, raising it to more than $82.7 billion as of Oct. 27.

In a letter this week, Senate Majority leaders also urged the Senate Finance Co-Chairs to take up the appropriations bill. “While the power to act on this bill currently rests with you alone, the consequences of your continued inaction will be borne by all members of your caucus—and by all Alaskans,” they wrote.