Breaking: Governor calls special sessions to deal with Permanent Fund dividend, appropriation and tax limits - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, June 15, 2021
HomePoliticsBreaking: Governor calls special sessions to deal with Permanent Fund dividend, appropriation and tax limits

Breaking: Governor calls special sessions to deal with Permanent Fund dividend, appropriation and tax limits

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a proclamation calling the Alaska Legislature into special session beginning May 20 to complete work on the state budget and to act on his constitutional amendment protecting the Permanent Fund, Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), and power cost equalization (PCE). 

This is phase one of two efforts to fix several of the state’s fiscal condition and to regain the trust of Alaskans as it pertains to their Permanent Fund dividends. The capital budget and supplemental budgets are also in the proclamation.

Never before has an Alaska governor given a legislature as much notice about a special session. Dunleavy sources said it was a sign of him trying to work in good faith with the leaders of all four caucuses.

“It is clear from my conversations with legislative leaders that more time is needed to complete this year’s budget and to address a long-term, permanent solution to protecting the Permanent Fund and PFD. Consequently, today I’m calling a 30-day special sessions to give lawmakers additional time to complete those tasks” Dunleavy said. “Nothing is more important than giving Alaskans a long-term solution to our fiscal challenges, and this session is an important first step.”

The first special session begins May 20, 2021 and directs work on three topics:

  • FY22 Operating Budget & Mental Health Budget (HB 69/HB 71)
  • FY22 Permanent Fund Dividend (HB 72/SB 52)
  • Constitutional Amendment protecting the Permanent Fund, PFD, and PCE (SJR 6/HJR 7)

Dunleavy also set a second special session to address other elements of a comprehensive state fiscal plan including a constitutional spending limit, consideration of new revenue measures, a prohibition on new taxes without voter approval, and appropriations of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds.

The second special session is Aug. 2, 2021 and directs work on four topics:

  • Constitutional Amendment to establish an appropriation limit (HJR 6/ SJR 5)
  • Constitutional Amendment to prohibit new state taxes without voter approval (HJR 8/ SJR 7)
  • Appropriations of federal relief funds, including ARP funds
  • Potential measures to increase state revenues

Read the governor’s special session proclamations here.

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Written by

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

  • Along with all the other financial/fiscal appropriations, PFD, spending and taxes, our “legislators” and Governor should look at declaring gold and silver as legal tender for all debts, public and private. A dozen other states have already done so. A little reliability in our efforts to avoid inflation would be prudent. Neglect is unacceptable.

  • Restore

  • Cap the PFD at $1000.00 forever use the difference to pay the bills. Alaska can not keep paying out more than it takes in.

  • All fiscal measures, including tax changes and prohibitions, are at best smoke and mirrors until and unless the state operating budget is actually reduced by a material percentage. Alaska has far more government than 500,000 barrels a day, a subsidized salmon industry, six small to medium mines, and cruise ship tourism can possibly support. We keep changing funding sources, moving money back to the previous fiscal year, and hiding spending in investment earnings and disaster declarations, but Medicaid, education and protecting us from a persistent criminal element have combined to eat our economy. Government has become so large that it crowds out the private sector. Elected leaders don’t know what to do next. The PFD has become a side-show. We need to take an honest $1 billion out of annual spending now!

  • Stop Per Diem after 90 days, then maybe these people will get their job done and quit playing beer pong and silly power trip games.

  • What’s wrong with following the existing law? Why aren’t the thieves in jail?

  • Caterina
    Right end of Story
    No need for a vote, just keep your hands off are money.

  • The legislature has been spending like drunken pirates for years and its about dammed time we have a governor that looks towards the people getting the full mandated PFD amount! Hey state legislators, can you stick to the dammed PFD formula and keep your sticky fingers out of the pot for a change? Pay the people first and fight over whats left and maybe you might gain some much needed respect!

  • Fifty Fifty is the most the government should be allowed to take future years contributions or not. Anything greater is strait socialism, where a maximum benefit to the people comes from trusting the people and allowing for the private sector to innovate and grow. Using our resources to provide for a maximum benefit. I hope the legislature approves and sets us on a fiscal path that grows future shared dividends. FYI lumber is up 3 to 4 times so a shared development of lumber in the overgrown Tongas might be beneficial to the state. By the way the Cruise ships might want to stop in Metlakatla on their way to Ketchikan it is only 45 minutes away and would qualify as a technical stop at a foreign port helping get cruising started faster now that everything is opened up. We need to incentivized the return of cruising and the extension of our cruise season into the first week of October instead of ending the first week in September…Thoughts

  • Call the Special Session in Wasilla… Open to the Public… No per diem for Anchorage and Valley Legislators…

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