A $1,000 stimulus check from the state? Not happening - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, June 6, 2020
HomePoliticsA $1,000 stimulus check from the state? Not happening

A $1,000 stimulus check from the state? Not happening

The final operating budget version for Fiscal Year 2021 has a poison pill in it, a political threat to conservatives, and a big disappointment for Alaskans worried about their financial future.

First, the disappointment: Alaskans won’t get the $1,000 economic stimulus payment that had been in the budget to help them during the current Wuhan virus crisis.

The House and Senate versions of the budget were being hammered out in conference committee on Saturday.

While the Senate version of the bill contains the $1,000 payment for April’s emergency assistance to Alaskans, as well as a $1,000 Permanent Fund dividend October, the House version does not, and the conference committee was weighted toward “no” on the economic stimulus check.

Just Rep. Cathy Tilton and Sen. Donny Olson voted for it the economic relief to Alaskans, while Sen. Bert Stedman, Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, Rep. Neal Foster, and Rep. Jennifer Johnston voted against it.

The Democrat-controlled House Majority and the bipartisan Senate working group majority had another poison pill: If there is not a three-quarter vote to get into the Constitutional Budget Reserve, then the Permanent Fund dividend itself will drop to $500 in October.

But wait, there’s more: The COVID-19 emergency money to help the state economy — some $75 million of unrestricted general funds to be used for emergency response — will not be appropriated by the Legislature if the conservatives vote against tapping the CBR.

It’s an impossible situation for the conservative minority in the House and Senate.

The statutory formula for the dividend is close to $3,000, but it has long been clear that the legislative majority would not abide by statute on the annual oil royalty check to Alaskans.

Now, the budget structure is in place so that if conservatives in the House and Senate vote against tapping the CBR, Alaskans will suffer dire consequences at every level, from their pocketbook to their community’s ability to fight the virus.

The budget hammered out in conference committee must be confirmed by both the House and Senate in what will likely be a fateful vote.

That vote takes place either late Saturday or early Sunday.

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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

  • I know it’s wrong to wish this on anyone, but I hope karma deals – very soon – with the SOBs that are holding Alaskans hostage. The PFD and the emergency assistance should NOT be a part of any other bill, but separate. This pork-barreling MUST stop! I’m tired of the thieves that have been in the legislature. If they survive the pandemic, they need to be stripped of office and given a one-way ticket out of Alaska!

    • I agree 100%, Karen! This is absolutely heinous behavior on the part of those legislators!

  • If this happens it is all on the Democrat led majority in the House, all of it. The rhinos should be voted out and the Democrats leading the show must be voted out. These people do not care about Alaskans, they care about their special interest backers and nothing more.

  • So nobody works in Alaska for a month, oil prices are in the toilet, tourism season probably won’t happen and the arrogant people in the Legislature thinks they are more important than the people. We must stand up to them in November. The market will come back if history is right and the Permanent Fund will larger than ever. Unfortunately some people in the Legislature sees the money as theirs, not ours.

  • None of us should be surprised. Some of us are in a close to very uncomfortable money situation. We fall through the cracks so won’t be getting the federal stimulus. A good portion of income is from Craft Bazaars and there aren’t going to be any of those for the near future. Social Security doesn’t go as far in Alaska as it does in other states.
    Have written emails, sent red pens, made phone calls and posted online. And none of this even makes a dent in the hard heads of the legislators that don’t really give a damn about us. And am doubtful that any of them have trouble sleeping at night.

    • I agree Social Security does not go that far and this state but I also know that the oil companies are not giving us anything and taxes especially with a new one that just came in here. If we’re so concerned about the PFD let’s tax them to get our PFD cuz our states not going to

      • Now hold on a minute Miranda.The oil companies already paid a tax, just because the people we voted into office wasted it ALL doesn’t mean we need to pluck the golden goose until it is flightless.

        • We give them a billon and a half each and every year.

          That ought to keep their flight feathers dry.

  • It will be painful but my hope is that the vote go against tapping the CBR. The voters should be able to see that the people claiming to be helping them are extortionists. One day this tide may turn if the people see these scoundrels for what they are. Election time is coming.

  • And here I thought blackmail, extortion, theft and malfeasance were all illegal and/or grounds for prosecution. I guess if they’ve got the supremes in their political pocket, they can pretty much ignore any question of legality. Then there’s the moral “problem”. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the bigger reasons the politicians like Juneau so much. Out of sight, out of mind, especially in politics. Napoleon was right when he said: “To succeed in politics, promise everything, deliver nothing”. I think he had it figured out. About the only remedy Alaskans have for our political woes is to take them out just like you put them in. Vote in November. Remember how much they “care” about us commoners. Using the Wuhan virus as a political weapon is beyond the pale. That’s about the lowest I’ve ever seen or heard about. If there’s not a law, there should be.

    • We do remember Napoleon’s eventual fate, yes?
      .
      At this rate, productive Alaskans may yet produce their very own Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, to champion them.
      .
      Sooner, we earnestly pray, rather than later…

    • In August people…the primary is in August

  • Pelosi will be proud of all our wonderful somehow elected POS’S in Juneau!! We must have a clear list by October of the ones who voted against stimulus check, PFD and held the virus money hostage. They need to be voted out! SHAME on all of you who just made me borrow money to eat this year. Doug Stuart – Senior, Vet and one pissed off voter!!!!! Goodby trash you be gone

  • I tell you what, by looking on edgmon’s Facebook page, people hate him on there for not carrying about Alaskans. Their words.

  • I think it is time to call the bluff from the Senate leadership. Do they really want to be responsible for people not getting the help so needed? I don’t think so. There is no honor in anything they did. Call their bluff! Time for the world to see who they really are. The stimulus is gone. Not very proud to be a Republican tonight.

  • The Governor doesn’t have to put up with this. And, the leader of the big problem on budget and finances is Bert Stedman. He has been at the biggest gains for his pet projects regardless of the Governor’s goals. All of Stedman’s pet projects and persons are getting the money they want. So, clean house anyway possible. Remember that Dunleavy realy hasn’t contested any of the problems like he should.

    • Bert Stedman has personally routed well over $100 million dollars to unnecessary pork projects in Southeast; primarily Sitka.
      1. Extending bike path to Silver Bay (Seafoods)- $6 million if I recall correctly
      2. Mt. Edgecumbe High School Aquatic Center- $27.5 million all said and done. AK Department of Education never asked for nor wanted the facility.
      3. New road to Katlian Bay- $31 million and climbing. Primary beneficiaries of this 9 mile road appear to be private native corporations.
      4. New interconnect road between Kake and a remote dock 13 miles from Petersburg- $35 million.

      That’s just right off the top of my head. These elitist RINO’s are every bit as bad as the most liberal democrat. They think that they know better how to spend money than we do and now that they are out of it, well it’s time to go after the PFD.

  • So the whole recall movement is about putting THESE people in charge. Seriously- is their ANY doubt what these people think of us? What they would be willing to do to us? Imhoff, Geisel, Edgemon, et al- the people that literally stole our PFD the last 4 years, wont even give back 1/4 of it in the middle of a 100 year crisis…

    The contempt this group, and the judiciary for that matter, has for the average Alaskan, is staggering. These people loathe us and see us as completely beneath them. How much more of these weasels do we have to take?

  • In most previous downturns, not everyone lost their jobs all at once. It was spread out over time so most everyone got at least some of their equity out of their homes when they decided to head south.
    This time too many have lost their jobs all at once, and recovery is nowhere in sight. Soon as it looks like it’s reaching bottom, I may exercise my VA home loan guarantee. I won’t be assuming any underwater mortgage either. I’ll wait until even the banks have to take a severe loss, just to keep their cash flow.
    I believe most of our legislators and upper ranks state workers have home mortgages. Who knows? Maybe even I could be living on the hillside this time next year.
    Meanwhile, I’m not making any unnecessary expenditures. I may even bail and live in my 10ft toy hauler this summer. I insulated it really well last two summers. I also built in a fold-up bed with a twin mattress from Mattress Ranch. All it needs now is a micro wood/oil stove, which all together can be had for maybe $600 online.
    In other words, while our legislators are all but guaranteeing a total meltdown, with recovery not happening for the next few years, Alaskans will still get by while watching the Carpetbaggers once again having to pull up and go back to where they came from.

  • There is no other acceptable vote but no. Let there be no budget.

    • I agree, let the whole Socialist experiment called “Government” go without funding…maybe then America can return to a “profit based” business model in the private sector that does not fund itself from selling unlimited Treasury bonds to China.
      All state governments are complacent in running up a National Debt that will Bankrupt this country for future generations to come.

      • Now here is the pot calling the kettle black. Commie!

  • These people are filthy vermin, and Juneau needs to be fumigated and rid of them.
    But……..next year they will still be there and we’ll still be gnashing our teeth and calling them vermin and
    talking about fumigating Juneau.
    .
    Nothing ever changes because we can’t get people out to vote.
    .
    Mike should refuse to sign off on this, and when the SOA shuts down, he should hang it around their necks and wake the apathetic general population up.
    .
    But he will sign it , and next year we’ll still be wailing about Juneau needing to be cleaned out and decent people voted it.
    .
    Politics in Alaska is like the movie Groundhog Day……

    • “Politics in Alaska is like the movie Groundhog Day……”
      An apt description!

  • Meanwhile 3553 people who were sick enough to be tested for coronavirus. 100 are positive or 3 percent. 3 percent of the population of Alaska currently has it. 97% are recovering. How many have already recovered. Until 69% is reached or a shot is delivered, the virus is here to stay.Antibodies can be built up and people will recover. People the primary is in August and we are over 12 hours of sun. These viruses die fast in the sun..Vote them out in August.

    • Citation please.

    • If the viruses die in the sun, why is it in California? Arizona? Hawaii? Curious minds want to know!

      • Not to mention in all the Southern Hemisphere countries where it was summertime down there.

  • So much whining! Conservatives will find a way to lose theirs minds no matter what the circumstances are. Whatever it is it’s ALWAYS too much or too little. The only thing for them that there is never enough of is – gunz, gawd and money!

    • Pretty sure you are going to hell.

    • gunz, gawd and money…
      .
      Now there’s a tired stereotype. You forgot to work in white, racist, misogynist….you know the drill.
      .
      If you are going to box in an entire group, go full-on Mr./Ms. Monk!

  • Oral Freeman devised the Fund as a way to keep the Peoples $ out of the hands of Politicians. The statutory formula provided for fair disbursement of these sums. This has been turned on it’s head, the ruling class has insulated themselves quite well through this budget, protecting their pal’s and turning you ,average Joe Alaskan out in the cold, naked and hungry..

  • What part of economic stimulus/emergency funds do these dipsh*t legislators not understand? If there was ever a need, it is now. Some politicians shoot themselves in the foot. Others cut off their noses to spite their face. These brainless jerks go to Juneau looking for their a$$h*les.

    • ……LOL. plenty of them down there. Shouldn’t take much looking.

  • I agree. I would like to be a part of the people that make all this information of who refused to help Alaskans at this great time of need. I want all the names of the ones that voted to take food out of ordinary families lives here in Alaska. This is absurd and it’s just as absurd to not rise up and do anything about it .

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