Right out of the gate, the Legislature has prioritized government spending at the expense of the Permanent Fund dividend, and this is just the first year after they passed the POMV with SB 26. This year, the Legislature was unwilling to make anything but a $23 million cut to state spending. And that’s with a 5.25 percent of market value. Next year, they’re going to have to live with a 5 percent of market value, and they’ll need to find $250 million more dollars. Where is that going to come from? It’s coming out of the PFD, if these past four years are any indication. That’s why I hope this governor stands tall and stops this pilfering in its tracks.
Now that I’ve vented, the purpose of the dividend program was to make sure Alaskans always paid attention to what their elected officials were doing because leaders like Jay Hammond knew that politicians would try to get into the principal, but voters would prevent them from raiding the fund. The fund itself was created to eventually replace oil revenues, when those oil revenues ran out. Those oil revenues are far from running out.
I’m beginning to think SB 26 was our biggest mistake.