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Thursday, June 20, 2019
HomeAlaska Daily PlanetLet’s vote on the PFD

Let’s vote on the PFD

By ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET

With state government on track to shut down July 1 at the beginning of the new fiscal year if no operating and capital budgets are approved, the looming battles over the Permanent Fund dividend take on a life of their own.

There will be fireworks in the coming days and weeks over the dividend’s amount, how it is figured and whether it should be protected by the state constitution.

Much of the angst over the dividend springs from actions by former Gov. Bill Walker in 2016 and the Legislature in the two following years that cut the annual payout by about half. What they did was bad enough; how they did it, even worse. They ignored the traditional method of calculating the dividend that is set in law, and made the amount paid to Alaskans subject to political whim, endangering the payouts in the future.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he wants a dividend figured by the traditional method included in the operating budget for the next fiscal year. That would amount to about $3,000 for each and every Alaskan. He has offered a constitutional amendment that, if approved, would protect the traditional calculation from lawmakers shaking the bushes in the future for quick cash.

[Read more at the Anchorage Daily Planet.]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • One thing for sure. The theft of the PFD would, maybe, plug a hole in the difference between the Dunleavy budget and the dim/socialist budget “must haves”. For this year. In a short few years (four, if you believe the accountants), there will be no more PFD. Period. Giving the Alaskan citizens the right to decide the fate (vote on the issue) of the PFD, is the only legitimate, rightful solution to the quandary of “what to do with other peoples’ money”, by the politicians. No matter what other “solution” is reached by the politicos, there will be anger and angst generated for a significant portion of Alaska residents. If the dims can blame the rightful ownership on the “voters”, that will give them a “political out”, from refusing the rightful decision to enshrine the PFD in the constitution, as the property of Alaskan citizens, not politicians. If not, there will be, forever, a huge divide between the ones who want to steal the PFD and the advocates of rightful ownership (citizens). I don’t see how the dims would want to risk being mauled at the polls by continuing their claims to spending the PFD, as rightful and necessary. Cutting spending goes hand in glove with restoring the PFD to it’s rightful owners. Citizens of Alaska.

  • Putting the PFD formula as is and as it worked for over three decades makes sense
    Let the citizens vote on this proposal.

  • Many Alaskans will tell us that they already voted on the PFD, that is why Mike Dunleavy is Governor.

  • Must have public (VOTE) make thoughs Legislators work in chambers, work to keep Development with our oil Company, not tax them to move to other countries. the pfd was designed for an interest of the people,