Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeThe 907Breaking: House slaughters full dividend, 22-18

Breaking: House slaughters full dividend, 22-18

After a couple of hours of debate on Saturday, the Alaska House of Representatives voted down the full Permanent Fund dividend, which was embedded as an appropriation item in the operating budget sent from the Senate to the House for concurrence.

For years, the Legislature has said it could not pay a full dividend to Alaskans because there was not enough money in the budget, what with the lower prices of oil. But this year, State coffers are flush with money, oil prices are high, the budget is one of the largest in history, and the capital budget is the largest in a decade, and yet the dividend was voted down by the House. Opponents of the larger PFD who spoke on the House floor said it was a bad use of the state’s money. Rep. David Eastman said the budget was too big and was unsustainable. Rep. James Kaufman made a similar argument, saying he wants a fiscal plan. Rep. Bart LeBon said the budget doesn’t balance. Rep. Chris Kurka said that without a guarantee there would be no state funds spent on abortions, he would be a no vote.

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Read: Governor reacts

The House will send the rejected budget back to the Senate, which has a choice of backing down from its offer, which includes the full PFD, or naming Senate members to a conference committee to hash out the differences between the House and Senate budgets.

Speaker Louise Stutes named Rep. Kelly Merrick as chair of the House portion of the upcoming conference committee, along with Rep. Bart LeBon and Rep. Daniel Ortiz. All three were “no” votes on the full PFD. Conference committee is made of of three members from each body.

Also voting against the full PFD were Reps. Matt Claman, Harriet Drummond, David Eastman, Bryce Edgmon, Zack Fields, Sara Hannan, Grier Hopkins, Andy Josephson, James Kaufman, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chris Kurka, Calvin Schrage, Liz Snyder, Ivy Spohnholz, Andi Story, Louise Stutes, Geran Tarr, Steve Thompson, and Adam Wool.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. Of course they did. They going to send it back minus the Capital budget wish list….no….duh of course not.

    This is why the formula was codified as law.

  2. Would love to see a list of the few that were “bought off” in the past couple of days. And want to thank Representatives Ben Carpenter and Ron Gillham for keeping their promises to those of us on the Peninsula.

  3. Each one of the naysayers no longer wish to re- present the will of the people in their districts. So noted. Never speak to them again and select new re – presentatives.

  4. I knew these idiots were going to do this again. We need to start a class action lawsuit against them all. They are traitors and need to be dealt with where they will be held to the statutory requirements. Liquidate the fund now so we can get every penny they owe us. Enough is enough.

    • What a crybaby Kerry. Do you ever listen to yourself? Get a grip-not everyone wants what you want.
      So you don’t like what was done-tough noogies.

      • I listen all the time. Are you one that just takes everything up the rear or are just one who gives it?
        The State is contractually obligated to fulfill their requirements, the pfd is one of them, so they need to just give all of us, the shareholders, what they owe us.
        Your tough noogies are why we keep going through this every year.

        • The State is not contractually obligated to fullfill anything Kerry. Like I said before get yourself a grip but educate yourself first on just what our Supreme Court said about that statutory pfd formula. Oh, and tough noogies to you (and Jefferson while you’re at it). Heheh!

      • Bill, you come across as the typical radical leftist extremist who has all the emotional maturity of a 10 year-old and all the intellectual maturity of a 5 year-old.

      • So, Billy, have EVER taken public money, wether that be a PUBLIC sector job, PFD dividend, or ANY public benefits?

        • How true you are Eric, it is the people like Billy that are preventing us from getting our full pfd and preventing Alaska from growing.

          • Kerry, the problem with your reasoning is that “our full pfd” is only determined each year by that year’s legislature. And as far as “preventing Alaska from growing” that is just a biased opinion shared by you and your ilk.

          • Billy boy is more than likely a current or past PUBLIC SERVANT of the state, or a union schill. He is getting a bump in pay or padding to his tiered retirement. If not he is a union sphincter stealing from the public. A true Richard in every sense, I am betting he is a receiver

          • A fool and his money are easily separated Billy boy, I don’t fall into that category. The legislature should never have been involved with determining how much of the peoples money they were going to steal, in the past they only announced the ammount which by law each citizen would receive per traditional formula, not Bill Walker and the States grab into our pockets.

          • You can blame that on those that created the PFD as no constitutional amendment was done to anchor that formula in stone. The choice given Walker was the taking of PFDs along with an income tax to get the wealthy too. That didn’t fly with legislature that was still pissed that Walker defeated their guy and they owed Walker nothing.
            What was left was to take it all from PFDs to make up for poor oil prices-something not a problem this year.
            I’m sure you’ll be running for a seat in the legislature so your “should never” can be fixed. Heheh!

  5. Okay to be fair, many of those who “voted down the full PFD” did NOT vote down the PFD. They voted down the bloated budget, the not balanced budget and they voted no on spending state money on abortion. This is the kind of reporting that I didn’t like from the ADN. Many of those cited would have been fine with the full PFD, they had issues with other parts of the budget as do I and a lot of others!

      • And the irresponsible conference committee will make sure the PFD stays dead. Don’t forget that the budget starts in the House from the Governor’s proposal – the Senate bill merely adjusted what the House produced or failed to produce. Too many bootlickers have seats there.

    • I have to disagree with you. The central issue here is restoring any kind of trust in our legislature and failing to pay the dividend per the statute again simply leaves us mired in the same political mud we’ve been in since Walker and the judicial branch (completely controlled by the left wing layers) first broke the law and took our money.

      I love the line in the story saying lawmakers voting “no” said it wasn’t “a good use of state’s money”. Suzanne, was that a quote from one or more no voters? If so it’s pretty telling of how these people think…it’s not the State’s money it the Citizens of Alaska’s money. But they obviously see it differently.

      Can you say “Constitutional Convention”? Let’s talk enshrined PFD which can’t be debated by elected officials easily, let’s talk changing how judges are seated on the bench.

      I hope the Governor vetos whole damn thing. Starting with legislative per diem.

      • PS let’s also talk voting process… if we continue with this stupid, unsecured, mail in voting being ran thru the Anchorage Election Bunker a.k.a. Chris Contant’s Clubhouse we might as well give up. It’s going to be impossible to save Alaska without a voting system people can have faith in.

        Voting is a responsibility as much (more?) than it is a right. If you can’t be bothered to go vote st the polls or at least go thru much more secure absentee voting process should you really be voting?

  6. To Kurka, I respect you but this was a stupid vote. The conference committee will still keep the abortion funding in. So your no vote will have no affect on that.

    It is also obvious that the governor gave no promises of vetoing the energy check portion. If he wanted to beep the $4,200 PFD, he would have done so….but he really didn’t.

    • Kurka is my rep and he has adamantly said he will never vote for a budget that pays for abortions even though it was in state law. I don’t agree with the practice either but the last 2 years he has been a paid shill for his former employer and made no bones about it. Matter of fact I can’t think of anything he has voted yes on that his master hasn’t told him to. In fact he doesn’t do much at all, He has never returned a phone call or an email about a position on taxes, gaming or anything. Watching him laugh and smile last session during the budget debate like it was some high school class was a slap in the face to all who voted for him. With the redistricting he wont run against the man who essentially appointed him Prince of the 7th District. Remember this is the guy who voted along with Eastman and DeLena Johnson and wanted to keep letting 14 and 15 year olds get married

  7. David Eastman, Chris Kurka, Kelly Merrick, Steve Thompson, and James Kauffman are traitors!

  8. I am shocked! at this new development.
    Oh wait….NO I am not.
    I fully expected that these tyrannical oligarchs would want the money for themselves, claiming the PF cannot
    afford to pay statutory PFDs…….while it continues to double in value every ten years.
    These people will just keep giving the rest of us a giant middle finger, because……..nothing happens to them for it. They keep getting elected, while laughing and sneering at us behind our backs.

    • Who passed out photos of that mountain on the Dalton Highway? So they could aim it at us…

  9. I guess a full court press by lobbies worked. Now they will give the money to people that did not lose anything during the pandemic. They won’t even cure any unfunded pensions but increase the liability.

  10. The list that voted it down are the same group that are all about big government spending and waste. There is no excuse to not give the people the dividend except greedy politicians that wish to continue to blow through cash with nothing to show for all the spending at the end of it all.

  11. Just when the citizens needed it most mocked and sold out again. Citizens beg GOD and Jesus to help us with our oath breakers. Can you imagine how dare them give themselves a raise. GOD please they know what they do to us citizens lord.

  12. I’ve written my letter of disappointment to James Kaufman, demanding to know what part of the unsustainable budget he wanted to cut? Much of it was intended for the next fiscal year and would not be needed in the future. Is James of the mindset that the PFD is better spent by politicians, than the people that it belongs to? If so, Mr. Kaufman is the wrong person to represent district 28 and that will be noted. Alaskans need a reprieve from the exploding inflation, high cost of shipping, food, building materials and energy costs.

    • I agree. He owes his district a very good explanation of his vote or this will be the one and only term he serves if I can help it.

  13. Eastman does love to hear himself talk. No wonder he was ousted out of the caucus. It’s because of him the Dems have been in control the last four years but then again he votes with them so he must be a Dem. More disgusting, he’s a LIAR!

    • But you voted against it David. We will not forget that you took $5,500 of funds rightfully, lawfully belonging to us. The PFD is not a gimmick, it is the law. We can debate the energy subsidy portion of it – but in a flush budget, I can’t think of a better way to help the people in bidenomics inflation times.

    • Not exactly gonna comfort people struggling to survive right freaking now.

      Can’t speak about you, but most people I know don’t consider food, gas, rent as “gimmicks”. That comment is reprehensible, as is your vote and attitude.

      Incidentally, didn’t you vote (you did) to save your per diem before you did anything else? No problem sustaining that. But that lined your pocket.

      Since you’re gonna stand so firmly on principle, go give, in cash, all your per diem to struggling people in your district.

      When we vote a Constitutional Convention and hopefully neuter people like you, blame yourself. You brought this on yourself.

    • Now it will go to conference where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you think, say or want will be addressed. In fact, you won’t even have a chance to matter, because NOBODY in the conference committee would even bother picking up the phone if you called.

      Once again, you have traded the voice of the valley to satisfy your ego. Oh, you will claim you took some kind of moral high road but what you really did was wipe out our voice.

      I am ashamed that I voted for you.

    • Quick question, did the governor ever make any promises to veto the energy dividend check in order to get some of you to vote for this?
      If he didn’t, then he never really wanted this to pass did he?
      Also, why are we trying to get a 50/50 PFD in the constitution if we know that over 400,000 more barrels of oil will be flowing through the pipeline in the next few years? I smell a scam to stew us in the future too.

    • Oh we watched Representative Eastman, all of us in the district you will undoubtably be running in, the newly redrawn District 7 are watching this play out and will have questions for you. Right now I’m still stuck with Kurka who seems not know how to return contact to his constituents, tell me will you be any different ?

    • David, can you expound on this? Why is the vote a “cynical gimmick” that caused you to vote against releasing this money which lawfully should be paid out to the citizens of Alaska as was intended by the people who set up the PFD in the first place?

      You don’t strike me as the “big government know best” type. Yet you are voting with those types.

  14. Fools. Thieves. And Kurka wants to be Governor??? The State already funds abortions – do you really think that voting down a budget and the PFD is going to get you elected to anything? Your abortion views – which I agree with – should be handled in stand-alone legislation, which if passed, would make you a hero to 48% of the electorate and thousands of the preborn. The budget does not have a line item for abortion spending – your “principle” excuse is simply cowardice. Fire Grier. No more bull, Wool. LeBon est LaMal. I could single out a few more… There is nothing “unsustainable” about paying out to the people what is rightfully, lawfully, ours – the only thing unsustainable might be the rest of the overinflated budget. We know the PFD goes up and down according to earnings. There is an election this Fall… Stop the Steal.

  15. You talk a big game about “keeping your oaths” but you couldn’t even keep your oath to deliver a FULL PFD. Shame.

  16. Listening to a politician (at least the ones the the lying media are in cahoots with) will keep the uninformed right where they want them.

  17. It’s time that we get serious about the upcoming elections and deal with the jackasses in the state house. The inept “representatives” are too ignorant to understand the difference between governing and “playing house!” We’re talking about helping families meet their financial needs with monies due them! All the political poesy and sweet nothings wouldn’t put a small, game hen in a single stew pot. After over two years of living with the pandemic, Alaskans want more than hot air! If the jackasses refuse to represent their constituents, it’s time to give them a real drubbing and muck them out of the house! Maybe these “representatives” are so full of themselves that they think that they can continue to play their constituencies as just so many fools! What idiocy! Adieu, jackass! Adieu!

  18. No surprise. Just a game. Senate knew it would not pass house. Just wanted to make themselves look good. What I am really ticked off about is the afl-cio, school district, adn and the others who attacked us to not get our fair share. Who the heck are they to say no to help Alaskans during hard times. Time for no more public unions on taxpayer dime and school district needs a real cleansing also.

  19. KN— I totally agree with you! Vote for a PFD not tied to a bloated budget.

    And it was indeed a gimmick. The Dems voted against this because they wanted the big budget without taking responsibility for it. The Republicans of the House just about gave them all the money they were slobbering over.

    PFD discussions and votes must be about only the PFD.

  20. I thought we elected people to represent us,. Not screw us, I got it wrong again. To bad we have evolved in to a apathetical group of wimps allowing gutless slimes like Giesel , China Walker and Stedman to represent us, Alaskans remember them on election day, get rid of the self serving politicians who do not care about their constituents .

  21. Take a list of these traitors to the polls with you and make sure the Bastards that voted against Alaskans getting their lawful full PFD never return to loot and pillage OUR $’s. These people use every excuse in the book, and then some, to steal from Alaskans with the same old rhetoric about the State going broke. They have forgotten the people of this great state are the State, that they work for us and that the Permanent Fund is not their own special piggy bank to get themselves wealthy while they let Alaskans try to deal with their politician’s bad decisions. We will see how this next election turns out. This bunch in Juneau made sure that they have every available means to make it be a Selection instead of an Election, again.
    Better wake up folks !

  22. Always glad there are no roadside billboards. But in this instance, one at the Glen and Seward at Muldoon and Dimond with all the “nea’s” names and districts, would be great. I’m sure there are many AK families across the state who “need” the funds for inflation impacted cost for food, fuel, repairs, etc. vs toys and trips. Politicians save a few, are a self-serving jerks.

  23. Doesn’t some of this fall on the senate? The (almost) full pfd came with a big ball of yarn attached to it in the form of a bloated budget. It wasn’t simply an effort of honorably doing what they should do and simply give the citizens their lawful pfd’s, they used a larger pfd as a tool to get their typical egregious spending moved forward. A full pfd should be approved, but not mired in bloated muck. Still I wonder if the governor could have vetoed some the spending and allowed the pfd to pass?

  24. One more thought to those who voted “no” based on their stance on abortion. Please realize you are playing directly into the hands of the liberals who are pro-abortion.. libs don’t want the citizens to get the PFD they want to hold on to that money so they can spend it on abortions, on CRT programs in our public schools, and other woke agenda projects.

    We have a PFD statute for s reason. We sh Under follow it. Argue other points in other legislation. Two votes would have made a difference.

  25. I think the State AG should start an investigation into bribery, seems to me someone is getting payed off , the special intrusts are getting their way with the elected Legislators , and it’s not happing just for free, something is going on, follow the money.

  26. My thanks to my rep Laddie Shaw for voting against handing over PFD funds to a faction of the government that’s more than willing to exchange $$$ to public employee unions for votes. Too bad Revak turned his back on us.

  27. Liars Thieves crooks the Juneau crowd just a keeps going with our money. It does not belong to them and as good stewards of the states money they show their real colors.

  28. Keep in mind! Those who voted NO also voted for a bloated budget last week.

    The same 18 are looking for cover from their lack of finance understanding and contribution to wasteful government spending.

  29. Hey look, the greedy boomer shitstains who inherited the post WW2 economy( your generation’s participation trophy) have an opinion! Yipeeeee! Take some more luxury cruises while your grandchildren live in squalor! You fatasses really did it! Just a quick question though… how many wars did you guys win??

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