House Finance denies statutory PFD - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, May 13, 2021
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House Finance denies statutory PFD

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The Alaska House Finance Committee on Thursday said no to an amendment that would have set the Permanent Fund dividend at about $3,000 this year, honoring the statutory formula. On a vote of 8-3, the amendment by Rep. DeLena Johnson of Palmer was voted down.

“By not paying the full, statutory PFD, it’s allowed us to kick the can down the road,” Johnson said. “With that in mind, this [statutory formula] still is the law.”

Among those voting against following the statutory formula for the dividend calculation was Johnson’s fellow Republican Rep. Sara Rasmussen of District 22, following in the footsteps of her predecessor Jason Grenn, who also voted against a full PFD.

Also opposing were Reps. Andy Josephson, Bart LeBon, Daniel Ortiz, Steve Thompson, Adam Wool, Bryce Edgmon, and Kelly Merrick.

Nikiski Rep. Ben Carpenter, a Republican, and Nome Rep. Neal Foster, a Democrat, voted in favor of it, along with Johnson, the Republican maker of the motion.

The Operating Budget moved from committee and is subject to amendments on the House Floor. A vote on the operating budget is expected this weekend. Capitol observers say they expect more PFD amendments before the final vote on the budget.

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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

  • Rasmussen and Merrick Constituents better take notice and vote both of them out.

  • The House hasn’t made a tough decision yet.
    The House is all about growing the size of the Government Footprint. They’re pushing an “Extended Emergency” to use the Covid Funds to create new Government Growth, pass funds to their favorite campaign donors who masquerade as Nonprofits or Unions, while using our PFDs to pay for budget shortfalls these thieves created themselves.

    Call your local liberal spend and tax Representative and tell them to Vote for the SJR 1, which lets Alaskans vote to put the PFD in the constitution.

    Remind the thieves that it’s not that far to the 2022 election. We will get more than 7 PFD thieves voted out in the next election.

  • When are we going to stop pussy footing around and demand the PFD be brought up to vote during the next election. The representatives assume too much thinking that just a handful of them may decide this for the whole state. The measure was voted in and any changes should be done by vote as well. When are we going to ignore the underhanded means in which the prior governor kidnapped the pfd, declare it unlawful and have the current governor reinstate it and then it can be fought out in the courts.

  • The people themselves have a right to vote on the PFD.

  • “Among those voting against following the statutory formula for the dividend calculation was Johnson’s fellow Republican Rep. Sara Rasmussen of District 22, following in the footsteps of her predecessor Jason Grenn, who also voted against a full PFD.
    Also opposing were Reps. Andy Josephson, Bart LeBon, Daniel Ortiz, Steve Thompson, Adam Wool, Bryce Edgmon, and Kelly Merrick”.
    These people, along with The Alaska Supreme Court, are criminally ignoring the difference between the words “may” and “shall”.

  • Thank Goodness for the House Finance Committee!
    A statutory Dividend would be incredibly irresponsible.
    I am a solid conservative and would like government to be smaller but there is no way you can cut the budget enough to pay out billions for massive Dividends. So then the only other source for these massive Dividends is to overdraw from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve – not very conservative.
    The Dividend is an incredibly poor government program especially in these current times.
    If you want to rein in government, you must end the Dividend first!

  • Show us on a doll where the bad PFD touched you.

    Obsession is a sad, sad, thing.

  • Any update on the recall efforts of Merrick by district 14?

  • Alaska has become a welfare State. Alaskans want no government in their lives but please make sure the PFD check comes every year.

  • Chris Nyman:
    .
    The statutory PFD process preserves both the fund as well as the dividend.
    .
    “IF” the process does not work, (it does) the law should be expunged. Until that time, these are illegal moves.

  • What are you talking about Chris, End the dividend.
    It’s the people’s money Not the government. Plus it’s the Law. Why are we not standing up to theses law breakers. End the government spending.

  • Chris Nyman, when did they attempt to cut the wasteful budget? Never, all these incompetent fools are doing is using the PFD as their security blanket.

  • Once a thief always a thief.

  • Chris Nyman, incessantly shrieking he’s a conservative. Hilarious.

  • Oh boy, what I would like to yell at Chris Nyman… 3 years ago, I confronted then Senator Cathy Giessel and accused her of stealing the PFD. She was quite offended and denied that was what they were doing. My point goes like this – it’s not the government’s money, it belongs to the people of Alaska. If you take something from me without my permission, what else do you call it? Only word for it – stealing. The legislature are unlawfully taking money from every Alaskan. They are stealing the PFD. They are able to do this because the AK Supreme Court ruled the PFD was an appropriation therefore the legislature had to pass it annually as part of the budget. IMPEACH the *%@#! Supreme Court – it’s not appropriable unless it’s the State’s money, which it’s NOT. Now regarding the budget shortfall: fill the pipeline – sue the feds for failure to obey the statehood compact, it’s our oil and our land. Next, cut much of the regulation and regulators as the Reagan administration did in the 1980s with the Grace Commission. Last step, look at other ways to enhance revenue that are not such a regressive tax like stealing the PFD. We have too much government for our income. A paring knife won’t do it – get out an ax. Bearing in mind that for every expenditure there is a constituency that wants to maintain it in perpetuity – whole programs will get the ax and someone will inevitably be upset. Sorry, this must be done and it will be painful. The question becomes, “what do we want Alaska to look like?”

  • Pensions are a problem too with our enlarged bureaucracy – while we have obligations to those already in the programs, we could set up a lower tier system that isn’t so generous for new enrollees.

  • Where is the petition, ready to sign

  • Oh please… the contest wasn’t even close.
    .
    The lobbyist half of Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team is owned by 388 special-interest groups.
    .
    Alaska has 733,391 people, few of whom are not legislators, lobbyists, public-employee union members, special-interest group members, state contractors, or state employees.
    .
    What chance did those few ever have of receiving their “statutory” dividends while their lobbyist-legislator team fight over scraps of the economy which the team worked so diligently to destroy?
    .
    Of course the few will be fondly remembered when the team start slobbering over the idea of stiffing the productive few with “statutory” sales and income taxes, necessary of course to support the team in the style to which they’ve become entitled.

  • If the PFD was going to the tourists they’d be getting “$6,000”.

  • Until we end the dividend we will be unable to focus on everything else. So sad.

  • Of course they did. This is a law directing them to follow it for legal PFD distribution. They have established that the are law breakers. They are beyond the law.

  • Of course they did. This is a law directing them to follow it for legal PFD distribution. They have established that they are law breakers. They are beyond the law.

  • No, we had to give them this last chance, after getting rid of 7 of them in the last election.

    Now we know that our job is too put an initiative on the ballot using SJR1 as the basis to putting our PFD on the ballot.

  • Continually spending the Resident’s money is just a way of getting out of doing Their Actual Job!
    Every year the same issues come up and the only way out happens to be the easiest, ” Let’s just take the money that is already there! ”
    I am certain these people will spend it all and then run for the hills when the well runs dry, leaving Alaskans by-the-wayside for greener pastures.

  • Bryce views the PFD as his own piggybank.

  • Most of them hate you. Almost all of them are..exceptionally unexceptional. They are there, because, because they could not make it in the private sector, and this was the only gig that paid well for lying and cheating, if you are too stupid to do it well enough to be a lawyer

    A very, limited, few..a true MINORITY, are Patriots there to serve the public, with any brains or conviction to do anything notable to that end.

  • Spending PFD away so they can add new taxes and increase the taxes gradually up to 80%!? Those who can pay 1000-4000 dollar rent will need the AK housing vouchers too if they have to spend anymore money on their rent, if taxes increase anymore. While those paying 2000$ less will join whose already living on the streets. Hahahaha

  • I fully support Sara R and her commitment to the POMV 4.5% cap. District 22 supports her also. Quite a few of the negative posts would require moving to our Sand Lake District to matter.

  • I’m watching the binding dog and pony show! I’m very disturbed by the arrogance of the Democrats.

  • Chris Nyman said “If you want to rein in government, you must end the Dividend first!”
    That argument doesn’t hold water because Alaska’s government (the CBC) needed reining in long before the PFD was created … and will continue to need reining in long after the PFD is eliminated.

  • It always makes me want to scream when somebody says “we can’t afford a dividend payout.” The dividend is the dividend, it was there to be paid. It was taken and used for purposes not intended and so now it is gone, but to say the state cannot “afford” to pay the PFD to the people is a lie.

  • It appears to me that no one on any of the boards are remembering the original reason there is a PFD.
    The PFD is/was a dividend that was given back to the people for a one time payment of $10.00 per year per working person taken out of first paycheck received
    However if a person had several different jobs ie on call worker at different job sites and paid in more than one $10. Then all was refunded except the first $10.
    Those tax dollars were used to help build the pipeline with the promise divends would be paid to each resident in form of a dividend each year.
    Typically paid out at end of each physical year, received by 15th of July no later than 30th of July.
    Therefore stop this discussion put the dividend checks in the mail for our fair share.
    It appears there have been deficient refunds so now. Is the time to pay in full what we are owed including interest.
    PFD Check need to be received no later than July 15th. Each year. No need for new legislation each year.
    My initial residence was January 4 1969 Kodiak Alaska as a US Navy wife then Anchorage spring of 1970.
    Since due to transfers it’s been back and forth between Anchorage and Seattle.
    Currently I live in Anchorage. Moved back in August 2018.
    Yes I am a registered voter

  • Let me guess Frank Rast – you make more than $100K/year, live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood with all the city services available to you. Your kids are grown and moved away. Point – stealing the peoples’ money matters little to you, and in your ignorance about the rest of the state you assume that to everyone else a tax that steals the same amount from each of us doesn’t matter anymore than it does to you: this is why democrats win elections. It is just another way of saying “not in my backyard” – unless someone else pays for it. For a family of six earning $30K per year living in a bush village where costs are more than twice they are in Anchorage the PFD is critical to their survival – how is taking their PFD fair? POMV is a synonym for TAX. Cut the budget – with an ax, not a fingernail file and a mirror – and fill the pipeline.

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