Dunleavy bill seeks to ensure PFD workers pass background checks


Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced SB 85, updating eligibility requirements for the Permanent Fund Dividend and modernizing the way the Department of Revenue can issue a notice of levy and conduct background checks on Department employees.

The bill allows merchant mariners attending a qualified vocational program to qualify for an allowable absence from the state for purposes of PFD eligibility.

Under Alaska’s current system, Alaskans serving as a merchant mariner are eligible for an allowed absence when serving aboard a vessel, but Alaskans training to be a merchant mariner are not provided the same allowed absence. This bill remedies that disparity so that Alaskans training to be merchant mariners are treated the same as other students.

The bill also clarifies the meaning of “education on a full-time basis.” Due to variability in educational schedules, certain students lose dividend eligibility due to breaks in the academic year. SB 85 provides for a specific definition for “education on a full-time basis” that includes academic year breaks, excluding summer break, so that students are not penalized based on vagaries in academic schedules.

SB 85 also allows the Permanent Fund Division to use electronic notice of levy for individuals who are subject to a court order or writ for the collection of a debt. Currently, if another individual attempts to place a levy on a dividend payment, Department of Revenue is required to contact the levied individual via the postal system. Allowing consent to receive electronic notice of levy will assist Alaskans in receiving vital information in the manner of their choosing.

The legislation also provides statutory authority for the Department of Revenue to collect fingerprints for the purpose of conducting background checks on Department employees. This will strengthen the security of Alaskan’s personal information by authorizing the Department to perform national criminal history checks on employees that have access to the banking and vital records of nearly every citizen in Alaska. By allowing the Department to obtain full background checks, Alaska will have taken every measure to provide the most secure system possible, the Governor’s Office said.


  1. Now on to cleaning up the Voter rolls and getting rid of mail in ballots and RCV…..and lets return to having fair elections..!!!

    • Yet you provide zero evidence of any fraud, you lose because your candidates are losers. Big Mike got re-elected because the Dems split the vote. But facts hurt the uneducated and indoctrinated Right wingers.

      • How’d Dems split the vote exactly? In the rank vote one need only get 50% to win, which he did without even needing to use the rank system. Are you saying that the Dems would have received more than 50% had there been only one Dem, even though Gara was the only Dem?

      • Sorry Rino, but the whole plan of RCV was for Gara and Walker to combine their votes to take out Dunleavy, who they could not defeat mano a mano. But it didn’t work because Big Mike had enough votes to defeat the process before they got to where they would have combined their votes. There was not only no split of Dem votes, but the original plan was defeated. Period. But as long as there exists the mechanism through RCV to combine to take out one opposing candidate with two others combining, then the RCV has the kernels of real corruption built in and must, therefore, be repealed.

    • Charlie there are now repeal petitions out for the end of Ranked Choice Voting. If you haven’t signed one, please do and bring a family member or friend. We only need about 27,000 signatures to get this on the ballot. Yes the legislature should have done this already…. Next initiative may have to be other election integrity measures as the legislature cannot find their butts with both hands or even know what party they are in or who put them in office. Voter rolls should be the next big issue as the state has been sued by Judicial Watch and made virtually NO progress. I say we should start from scratch. Purge all the voter rolls and reregister. The state could use PFD applicant lists to send out registration information.
      Finally, ALL state paid employees should pass a background check. How could this be in the least controversial?

  2. Just stand down, Dunleavy. You had your chance and pissed yourself. You have no credibility in this matter.

  3. We need a back ground check on every politician. Let’s see how many are honest and truthful. My guess is zero. The governor and all the legislatures and cabinet heads heck anybody in the government lie to the public. But the sheep continue to vote for crooks. One would think stealing their PFD would make them angry but people like to be stole from and lied to. Go figure

  4. Remember, when you had to send your social security cards, to the PFD department, for verification of identity? Welp. Some people didn’t get their social security cards returned. Social Security was notified. That was in 2000 I think.
    Maybe someone has been looking into old files.

  5. Why would ANY government employee not be subject to a background check? I think even the Juneau janitor should be screened. Reduce the odds of bad behavior being hired.

  6. This is all political publicity rather than real legislation. The department has the discretion right now to determine what education absences are allowable, including merchant marine training and courses. Also, courts have determined that contact using updated means meets requirements for USPS contact and for public notices. So far as background checks, all the impacted positions are union positions, and so long as that is true the union calls the shots no matter what the executive branch of government would like to see. This is a waste of valuable time and resources, but maybe the thought is that legislation that can be agreed by everyone will help enact legislation that is actually opposed by many at this time.

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