Dividend: $1,600, and a special session for the rest



Gov. Michael Dunleavy signed HB 2001, and in a major video address today said he will call a special session to try to get the Legislature to release the rest of Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividend.

But for now, the dividend that arrives in early October will be $1,600. Dunleavy views it as a partial PFD.

“Fighting for the full PFD would have left Alaskans with no PFD this fall. A veto would have been a win for those who want to eliminate the PFD in its entirety,” he said.

The governor will call for another Special Session to fund the rest of the dividend, about $1,400 that is determined by statute, and a constitutional amendment to fix the payment of the dividend into the Alaska Constitution.

The payment for the rest of the PFD would come from the Earnings Reserve Account of the Permanent Fund.

“I will not let up until the full funds are appropriated for the full PFD,” he said.

The mainstream media pounced on the video, which bypassed them as interpreters of the message and went directly to Alaskans via social media.

Among items the governor chose not to veto in this round is the Alaska Council on the Arts.

Excerpt from the video address were released by the Governor’s Office:

A Difficult Conversation

“There is no doubt Alaskans got engaged, and a much needed and, at times, difficult conversation took place in the media, at the dinner table, and amongst friends and family. I believed, and still believe, that in order for this discussion to be successful and to be taken seriously, we have to show Alaskans exactly what our fiscal picture looks like and what it will take to solve it.”

We Can No Longer Pretend the Problem Will Fix Itself

 “Alaskans need to understand that we can no longer afford to spend at our current rates. We can no longer afford to deplete our savings and hope for higher revenues. We must begin making the long-term changes to put ourselves on a path to a more sustainable future, and we can no longer pretend the problem will fix itself. It will take difficult decisions to get us to a sustainable budget, and I am prepared to make those difficult decisions.”

Result: Eliminated 1/3 of the Deficit, Reductions of $650 Million

“…important steps are being made to address our deficit, to right size our government and to put Alaska on a more sustainable path. Effective today, through the enactment of HB 2001, we have eliminated over 1/3 of the state’s deficit through reduction of approximately $650 million in state spending. Reforms have been initiated to make services and programs, such as Medicaid, University of Alaska, and the Alaska Marine Highway System more efficient and more sustainable.”

Multi-Year Step Down Requires Us to Rethink the Way We Provide Services

The driver for these reductions continues to be Alaska’s current fiscal outlook, requiring all of us to rethink the way we provide services, the way we prioritize limited state resources and the way we spend state dollars moving forward. While state savings will continue to be exhausted as we move into a multi-year step down, reducing our rate of spending must be a priority for all Alaskans. More must be done in the coming months, but we as Alaskans are resilient, and I honestly believe our future remains bright.”

Budget Approach and Timing Caused Significant Angst Among Alaskans

I understand that this budget approach and timing, being so late in the legislative year, caused significant angst among Alaskans, I really do. This was certainly not our intention. However, certain programs, programs we value, got caught in a budget discussion that went on way too long. The seriousness of the deficit, the need to begin making reforms and the length of our legislative session all contributed to the level of uncertainty we experienced the past several months. We have listened and we have learned from this past year’s budget process.”

Reduction to State Spending of 8 percent

 Overall, this year’s budget limited 1/3 of the deficit, reduced state spending by 8 percent and began the difficult process of changing the way we deploy limited state resources. The discussion that occurred ultimately helped Alaskans understand the seriousness of our challenges, forced the conversation about priorities and, in the end, helped shape this year’s budget.”

PFD: Arbitrarily Set Political Football

Unfortunately, this process was thrown into chaos the past several years when oil prices fell. Too many in the legislature now treat the PFD as a political football, arbitrarily setting its amount rather than following the statutory formula Alaskans know and trust.


  1. Well, a far cry from, $6000, Governor. I wonder if a 1/4 PFD payment will be reflected in receiving 1/4 of your original vote count in the upcoming recall election.

    A serious note to Alaskans: Do you really want to go through this turmoil every year?? With so many special sessions, you might just as well have a full-time Legislature.

    Put on a sales tax, keep the PFD reasonable, reign in State spending, and draw more on the PF to fund State government. Then live a long, stable, and happy financial life in a beautiful state. Remember, oil revenue will continue to fall into the future, so all of this just gets harder and harder with time.

    Putting the PFD payment into the Constitution will be financial suicide, as the entire PF will eventually be cashed out, and State government will be but a small burnt cinder, barely glowing in Juneau. You might think you want small/no government, but you haven’t lived that life yet. You will if you go down this road…

  2. True colors exposed ! And do NOT expect another dime of the so-called additional $1400 from the so-called special session. Not only will we NOT see it, we won’t see another dime of the past two years of PFD theft by Walker. When you are the governor and basically have CHECK MATE over these liberal, reckless, irresponsible legislators with over 146,000 people who voted for you, you are expected to honor the promise of ($3000 and not a dime less). But instead- he folds like a cheap tent in the wind for nothing less than “Illogical reasons” ?? He had all the leverage in his corner (146,000 + voters) backing him 110%.

    • Actually Kevin, my thinking is that he blundered massively by giving his opposition grounds for a Recall and it was he (Dunleavy) who got played here. He clearly thought he had a mandate to create this budget mess but found out (in spades) what Alaskans thought of giving up their govt. services in order to fund a larger PFD.
      So………………………..he will continue to cave to those who want him Recalled. Pretty simple.

      • Bill Yankee, the real story is that the govt unions, crony capitalists who feed at the state trough of $$, and nonprofits are part of the Deep State that controls state funding. They are all powerful and the people have little power.

        • Well David, you are the expert on your opinion here but I don’t buy it. This governor bought his election with $6000 promised to each Alaskan and those chickens are coming home to roost-the electorate will get to vote again IMO.

  3. My comments to the Governor on FB.
    Good job. First thing is that to have a special session, it must be agreed to be only at Anchorage LIO, period. If Cathy and Bryce will not agree to that, preferably in writing, then no session!
    Second, they will have 5 days to try and veto over-ride, as things look at what you did with this line-item veto, I don’t believe they have the votes.
    Third. We cannot have another session like this last one where they put back the vast majority of the funding, in my opinion outside of the law and rules of the House and Senate. So, the only thing to being there for is for the PFD, from the only place it can lawfully be taken from, the ERA!
    Fourth, not said in your video, Constitutional Amendments for protect the PFD and to cap future budgets. If not, then may I suggest a session duration of no more than 15 days. If they will not follow the law in 15 days, they sure as hell won’t in 30.
    Lastly, no per deim unless the legislator is well outside of Anchorage!

  4. So, reduced PFD AND reduced State services. Dunleavy supporters in Alaska must be getting so very tired of winning!

  5. It was a hard decision for our governor ..to fight for what you believe is right or hurt alaskans by postponing the PFD payout. In the end he did what was best for alaskans instead of what Bryce edgmon and the legislator did by hurting alaskans and taking away their rightful money. This isn’t over, because our current legislator believes in hurting the private sector. That means half the PFD money for the AC stores, Bush pilots, and school clothes. I’m not sure how the House majority can sleep at night knowing that they’ve screwed over so many people including natives.

  6. Well, $1600 is a far cry from the $6000 Alaskan’s votes were bought with! Perhaps the same ratio will be applied to the number of people voting for the Governor in the upcoming recall election.

    A serious note to Alaskans: Do you really want to go through this turmoil every year?? You might as well have a full-time Legislature with all of the special sessions that are being called. Remember that as time marches on, oil revenues will continue to fall, and all of this will only get harder and harder, ad infinitum.

    This State needs to put on a sales tax, reduce spending, pay a more modest PFD, and fund more of the government with the PF earnings. Do this and we will all live a long, happy, and sustainable financial life in a beautiful place. Enshrining the PFD in the Constitution is financial suicide, and will eventually result in the entire fund being cashed out with State government being reduced to a smoldering ember in Juneau. You all might think a tiny/non-existent Government is a beautiful thing, but you haven’t lived that life yet. Enshrine the PFD, and you eventually will.

    • Absolutely no sales or income tax UNTIL there is some government spending reduction. I am not interested in throwing money for our legislators to use in pet projects. There are several departments that could, and should, be consolidated. Let’s see if the University really does follow through with their restructuring. Let’s put a cap on the number of Commissioners and Administrators we have and their salaries. Why keep throwing money at something that has little transparency and poor outcomes?
      You can, at anytime, write a check to the State every time you shop and calculate whatever amount of tax you believe is fair. Don’t impose it on everyone else.

    • Pantang: could you explain why embedding the PFD formula in the Alaska Constitution will be financially harmful?

      • My guess here is that it would depend on what “PFD formula” was embedded. For example, the statutory formula would be harmful IMO without some form of POMV that worked with it.

  7. So where can it be read what was actually cut and what was refunded? I see no reason to recall the Governor since it is not his choice outside of choosing to veto something. At the moment, if the Legislature chooses not to issue a full PFD then that is the way it is… for now! Although disappointing, I think that the Governor made the best decision at least on the PFD that he could. He didn’t promise it, but did say he would fight for it.

    If you want things to improve in Alaska, the LEGISLATURE MUST CHANGE… WE NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET SO THAT ALASKA WILL GROW. With so much debt and overspending, companies do not want to come here… too much risk for them. People need to be responsible for their own lives and future… NOT TO KEEP LIVING OFF THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AND HANDOUTS. THAT MUST STOP.



    • How much would the State save by having the Legislature meet in South Central Alaska? Per diem, airfare, moving household items 2X per year. Plus, the transparency. Legislators enjoy the luxury of essentially meeting in secret from most Alaskans.

  8. Gov. Michael Dunleavy is a Governor by and for We The People. He has got to be one of the most overworked men in Alaska. He stood up against very formidable odds. Cutting the Budget like he did is a very tough job considering how many people want ONLY A WELFARE STATE. Don’t think about what he should have done. Just think about what he accomplished. No matter how much we are spending on non-essentials, this didn’t happen overnight and it can’t be immediately fixed without harm to people who have no way to compensate. We are on the right path but it just can’t become accomplished overnight. Re-Elect him if he continues down the path he is on. We need someone who can and will stand up to this kind of pressure. Seymour Marvin Mills sui juris

  9. This seems to be the best play. He gives cover to some of his coalition legislators, keeps the vast majority of his cuts, and restructures the university (one of the most mismanaged of all the budget drains). He gets half of the dividend now and more importantly, he doesn’t allow the media and the left (Geisel, Von Imhoff, et al) to paint him as the one who ended the dividend, and then make themselves the heroes in January when they would have reinstated the $1600, after 2-3 special sessions of hurting Alaskans and withholding the dividend.

    I think it should not be lost on people who consider this action today, that he was never overridden by the legislature. That is quite a feat given the majority, left, media, and senate President were all vehemently against him. Had he lost his minority coalition that kept him from being overridden, all this would have been for nought.

    Some analysis out there that he has capitulated too much fails to take that into account. It’s a safe assumption that there were 2-3 freshmen legislators being bombarded by the media, left, public, and their own party to betray him, and their own principles. At the end of the day, he has his constitutional and statutory power, and the people we elect to help him get his agenda across. The legislature has chosen to disregard the law in the case of the first two, and I would say it’s up to the electorate to remedy the third.

    Lastly- for those who think he backtracked to far on his cuts, or that he should have gone with no PFD- aside from earlier points made- who on the political landscape would have done better? Who even proposed to do better?

    The forces that want a bloated government, filled with largess and kickbacks And who absolutely think the electorate is not worthy of their shareholder check are many and powerful. When you fight them, this is what it looks like.

  10. A Note to the Editor (or is it Akismet):

    Please don’t delete my posts, just because your Readers may find them disagreeable! There is already way too much echo-chambering going on in this media world and censorship only makes it worse. I take the time to read your Conservative site and find much of it very informative. However, I sometimes disagree with your POV and then feel compelled to comment. I believe that stating my opinions to your Readers may ultimately change their viewpoints, resulting in a better Alaska for us all. This is The American Way. I also appreciate your consideration of my First Amendment rights, just as you use yours to express your viewpoints here. I believe it’s what they teach in Journalism school.

  11. Did he veto or did he not veto anything with the signing of HB 2001? If so, what? Did he veto the same items as before but exceptions?

  12. We can’t heap all the blame on Dunleavy. Unfortunately, his PFD payout is really no better than Walker’s of last year. This entire mess can be relationed back to the representative from Kenai who bailed out of the majority in January. This eventually gave Dunleavy the biggest headache of his political career, having to deal with backstabbers and turncoats.
    RECOMMENDATION TO THE GOVERNOR: appoint Laddie Shaw to become the replacement senator for Chris Birch. Then, appoint a conservative loyalist to replace Laddie Shaw’s vacated House seat. You may end up with a new coalition in the House, but if not, you are positioned to work with a majority coalition in 2021 that will work with YOU. This legislature has got to be reconstituted, from Giessel on down. These are not your friends, Mike. Finally, follow the path of former governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. He survived recall by going directly to the people and stating the truth. Given that there are so many Alaskans working for some branch of government and eating at the trough of socialism, you will.probably face another election before 2022. BEWARE!!!

    • Wait a minute Marla, are you just saying that the Governor should act like a tyrannic despot, and should replace all the legislator who does not agree with him ?

      I thought we were in a democracy, maybe you don’t like Cathy Giessel, but she was elected for that job, exactly that job to stand tall against Dunleavy. You may not like it, but it is the reality.

      Dunleavy is not the friend of Alaska, the Governor office should be reconstituted, and some people upholding there constitutional right are working on this.

      • Marc, learn to focus and read with more comprehension and less distraction. Marla said…”go directly to the people and speak the truth.” Something Democrats just cannot do.

      • Actually Cathy Giessel ran on pretty much the same issues as Dunleavy, including restoring the full PFD.

          • Got it Bill, when it’s somebody you agree with it’s that they changed their mind, but when it’s somebody you disagree with they are causing chaos and caving. If it weren’t for double standards I suspect you’d have none at all.

          • Four-flusher, I said some people above but clearly not all. Giessel, no doubt, was influenced by the numbers of her constituents who voiced their opinions to her-this was her decision to make and my opinion had nothing to do with it.
            That said, some Legislators did not get that same feel from their constituents-those are the minority in both Houses. Further, I suspect that the electorate has changed their minds on Dunleavy but he hasn’t picked up on it, yet.
            He will soon enough IMO. Heheh!

          • Poor, poor Bill. All you have is name calling and nonsense that you make up out of whole cloth. You prove my point everytime you call me names and spout your nonsense. Like always, it’s right up there^ Bill. You have no idea what Giessels constituents told her, yet you pretend you do. She ran and was elected on restoring the statutory PFD, that’s what her constituents voted for. She is free to change her mind or to have just been lying about it the whole time. But for you to say that when one person who agrees with you is simply changing their mind while you rail against those you disagree with saying they are causing chaos and are caving is disingenious at best and it shows a clear double standard on your part.

          • Four-flusher, she has clearly changed her mind (if in fact she did run as you say) but if her constituents did not give her the go-ahead to vote like she is doing, then she will probably be voted out next time and that is something that few Legislators do. And she is not alone, either. The House members are on record as doing what Alaskans told them in their town meetings and surely Giessel is aware of those meetings. She is certainly aware of what her constituents want and I believe that she is voting the way they have told her. You don’t think so but you don’t like what she is doing so are looking for some reason to doubt her.
            Tough noogies!

        • You keep saying that Four-flusher but you are just babbling now. It must be the stress of being in the wrong so much.

          • No stress on my part friend, you just continue to prove my point with each and every post of yours. All you need to do is look right up there^ since you can’t seem to figure it out. No babbling on my part, just the same nonsense and name calling on yours.

          • You keep on babbling about looking up there Four-flusher. There is nothing to look at up there-just your incessant babbling from the stress of being wigged out from looking at things from the wrong side. Heheh!

  13. Great call with the Budget and PFD. For those that still gripe, they can “click and give”/ donate their entire PFD to the “underfunded” charity/entity of their choosing. The government should never be used as a tool to enforce funding such operating budget costs.

  14. I disagree with the governor’s caving on the PFD.
    I also disagree with his caving on so many of the Left’s pet programs.
    Dunleavy’s concessions will be viewed as a victory by those who support the House Dems.
    The Legislature took the governor’s measure and denied him his centerpiece promise.
    Dunleavy should have understood real politik, the Left plays to win no matter the cost.
    He was unwilling to weather the storm, and caved.
    Another special session is pointless, the Left won.

    • Yep.. I’ve lived in Alaska for 43 years. Whoever is advising him needs to be fired immediately…

      Dunleavy was faced with a very treatable cancer [leftist legislators spreading more debt] that was caught in time. What does he do? He suggests Advil, and recommends a special appointment in a few weeks ???? Of course it’s going to be too late by then…the cancer will get stronger and spread more until our great state is doomed (eventually). Alaska will soon be the great northern California buried in debt.
      I don’t think he realizes what he just did.

      • Kevin, can you tell me the last time when the Governor, the Senate and the House were in the hand of the left in the State of Alaska. You probably won’t, and as such, the cancer that is spreading in Alaska was born from Republican.

  15. “I will not let up until the full funds are appropriated for the full PFD,”

    Newsflash…you just did.

    Why would Edgmon or Giessel fund a full PFD in yet another special session when the Gov has demonstrated just how easily he gives up?

    This direct-to-the-people-video is just more talk. Talk from a guy that yammered on for the past year about expenditures matching revenues. Gov succeeded in reducing or eliminating UA, senior benefits, headstart, and 10 other bloated budget items but got weak in the knee when it really mattered.

    Action is the only thing this Gov can do if he expects his base to stick with him. Talk is cheap…Dunleavy’s final budget is expensive.

  16. Dunleavy is going to learn the hard way that he just made the situation worst on every level by emboldening these traitors to continue destroying our states PFD fund by using it as their own personal piggy bank for state [over] spending . Now they have even more traction and incentive to fight him more now in this special session. And they will…

  17. Has anyone ever seen a super spoiled child throw a temper tantrum to get what they want? That’s what just happened with the legislature, socialists and “public employees”. The spoiled brat’s temper tantrums get worse until they get what they want, or else. As soon as the authority figure gives in to the tantrums, the spoiled brat only gets emboldened. From then on, they know all they have to do is have another, bigger fit and they’ll most likely get whatever they want. They never forget. The only way to avoid that is to stand up to the brat at the start or you’ll face ever increasing demands and more tantrums, over any issue the authority figure faces. The Alaskan authority figure (Governor) has given the leftist/socialist “public” politicians almost exactly what they want. Now that they have their way, the leftists will probably ignore any more special sessions, or if they do show, they’ll make a mockery of it. They already got theirs, and that was their only concern. If Alaskans needed to wait for their real PFD, I don’t think it would have been a crisis, as being depicted. The capitulation on most everything only made future dealings with the dims/public employees, more difficult or even non-existent. Sorry Gov. I really thought you were ‘the one’.

    • The Alaskan authority figure is the voting public, if this doesn’t draw out the silent majority nothing will. While we need to wait another year, if this draws out until this time next year how do you think the Alaskan voter will respond?

  18. This is another lesson in how hard it is to drain the swamp, whether it be in DC or Juneau. Some people are addicted to spending other people’s money and those people do not want to be forced to spend less. If the governor can reduce spending at an 8% clip for 4 or even 8 years then change will have been effected. Do I believe we need more spending cuts, absolutely. Do I believe the statutory dividend should be paid, absolutely. To live to fight another day is the long view and the pragmatic view. The legislature controls the purse strings and they are the ones who need to be addressed if you are upset about how they decided to not pay the statutory dividend.

    Is the 8% spending reduction a year over year reduction or just 8% less than the budget Walker proposed on his way out the door?

    • Steve-O, are you talking about all those no-bid contract from the Governor Dunleavy to his acquaintance?

      Also the legislature was in the hand of the Republican for a very, very long time in Alaska, but it seems they only have been able to build overspending!

      • Marc, How about the +$800 million no-bid contract that Gov Walker gave to his friend from Houston to spend the $110 million of state $$ in the AK Gasline Development org?

    • Addicted to spending other peoples money? You mean like sole source contracting? Someone in the administration has a propensity for that across multiple State governments.

    • There is this place called Somalia where nobody feeds the “monster” ever. You should go and see what happens for yourself.

  19. Dunleavy needs to go direct to the public more often, the Guv needs to continue this conversation with Alaskans. It is critical for Big Mike to keep this type of open communication with Alaskans.

    For those folks above who think the Guv “caved” , I suggest they look back at the last 3 months of political reporting. The amazing thing is that he was able to sustain his veto’s for as long as he did and that real cuts were actually made! The unfortunate thing in politics is that you rarely get everything you want, despite clear conviction and moral superiority. It would be foolishness to abandon our Governor now.

    • Yessir Older, more of these pre-recorded messages without the ability to question him about his decisions. Open communication with Alaskans. What a joke!

      • Bill, Question what? The guv made his case pretty clearly. You see Bill when one delivers a budget after running on cutting spending one will go big, it is no different then when you haggle at a garage sale over a box of Depends diapers… You offer far less than what you would pay at Foodland. I am certain you understand that.

        • Older, the questions are to be made by news people and they make their own based on what is said. You think it was made “clearly” but without any opposition things always look good.
          Anyway, whenever anyone opts to not have any opposition it’s because they are afraid of how they will look in a different light.
          I’m sure you can understand that. Heheh!

  20. Bill, Question what? The guv made his case pretty clearly. You see Bill when one delivers a budget after running on cutting spending one will go big, it is no different then when you haggle at a garage sale over a box of Depends diapers… You offer far less than what you would pay at Foodland. I am certain you understand that.

  21. The Governor played this right. Babcock as Chief of Staff for the first 9 months. Shock and awe discussions, budget talks, pfds. Then Babcock our and Stevens in and uproars and step down compromises and rational debate from both sides.

    This was a clarification lesson.

    The big fight and the one Alaskans need to have is where every politician stands on the PFD potentially funding government. Every single one of them must go on the record on that issue.

    That’s the litmus test. That’s what Alaskans deserve to know.

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