New bill from Fairbanks Democrat Adam Wool leaves crumbs for Alaskans' PFDs - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, June 3, 2020
HomePoliticsNew bill from Fairbanks Democrat Adam Wool leaves crumbs for Alaskans’ PFDs

New bill from Fairbanks Democrat Adam Wool leaves crumbs for Alaskans’ PFDs

A new bill offered by Fairbanks Democrat Rep. Adam Wool would take even more of Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividends and give it to the University of Alaska, K-12 education, capital projects, and more.

Under HB 300, the annual draw on the Permanent Fund Earning Reserve account would be first allocated to state programs, and what remained would be split 50/50 between the General Fund and the Permanent Fund dividend. That means the dividend would be about $700 this year, according to Wool’s formula.

The bill takes the 5.25 percent of market value from the Permanent Fund Earning Reserve account, and routes it to various state funding pools:

  • 40 percent would go for k-12 education.
  • 10 percent would be for the University of Alaska
  • 10 percent would go into capital projects.
  • 10 percent would go back to communities through the community assistance fund.

That would consume 70 percent of what is available from the POMV draw, and leave 30 percent to work with.

Half of that 30 percent would be used for Permanent Fund dividends, and the other half would be allocated to the General Fund.

“This plan allows a dividend that is sustainable while also addressing the needs of our communities,” Wool said. “Businesses, public servants, municipal governments and Alaskans all deserve stability. By protecting the Permanent Fund, committing funding to essential services, and directing funds to capital projects and communities, we can now focus on building Alaska’s future.

The bill has been referred to House Finance Committee.

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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

  • Stop public funding of public education. It is a brainwash and indoctrination center. Classrooms are practically obsolete. Trade schools are more important and more profitable than college degrees. We need plumbers and pipefitters, electricians and mechanics. Too many young minds are being wasted thru public education. Time to get back to basics of life.

    • I agree with you, wholeheartedly. It is so easy to see, where this is going. Democrat Alaskan politicians are trying to take everything we have, and line their pockets with it. It seems almost hopeless, at this point. They are in charge, and they are crooked.

    • For Pete’s sake Elizabeth, without an education your plumbers, pipefitters and electricians wouldn’t be able to turn a cog. Even they need to be able to read.
      Get a grip!

      • She is talking about a four year Degree from a College. Plumber, Pipefitters, and Electricians do not need a four year degree and are less in debt and have higher wages out the gate.

        • She said specifically “public education.” A college education has never been referred to as “public education.”
          Did you read her mind, Steve? How could you possibly have known what it is that she meant. I went with what she said.

          • Your an sore spot. You pay for it then. Tough Noogies Billy boy

          • What are you, about 6 years old Mark??
            Tongue tied to boot. Heheh!
            I must be really getting under your skin-this is getting to be fun.

          • Yes it is fun to watch a true lib cry.

          • Say there Mark, what is it that makes you think I’m a true lib or crying? Still thinking you are about 6 years old and are on Mom’s computer. Heheh!

      • The liberal majority House has gone of the rails! Hopefully the Senate will kill HB 300.

      • Hey Carp, a cog is a gear. Machinists and mechanics might “turn a cog”, plumbers, pipefitters, and electricians…not so much. Keep it up, I love it.

  • With 12 (homeschooled) kids I do not begrudge education. BUT I strongly oppose throwing endless money into the never ending abyss while looking at continuously decreasing test scores. No one but the highly funded lobbyists benefit. How much does Adam Wool take from them?

    • Yes, especially since, in spite of all the money thrown, our schools are going down hill, not even maintaining, much less getting better. The administrators, consultants, and other associated interests are making bank. Last time I looked, public school teachers have some pretty nice benefits but the students are leaving their classrooms unable to read at grade level. They’d be fired in the private sector. I know: I was once a public school teacher, but now work in a private school.

  • Amen Elizabeth…. trade schools Charter schools Home schools… Public schools have done nothing but create a tenured 3 toed sloth slow moving backward retirement home for the tenured Teacher,,, The only other comparison is to look at Congress for the lack of accomplishments. Alaskas schools are producing indoctrinated liberal arts cut outs that find no jobs,,, Its time the I.V. cord was cut from the budget on these draining schools that produce failed results. Public schools are the very definition of insanity , Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

  • As a Wasilla city council member, I have spent the last two weeks in Juneau listening to all the figures from the legislators and the state bureaucrats. NEVER ONCE did they talk about reducing the size and reach of state employees and bureaucracy. It is like the personnel are exempt from any reduction, unlike the private sector. But our precious savings account is all they are focused on. Well, here is a thought, state agencies DON”T NEED saving accounts as much as the residents of Alaska do. Cut the budget by some other means than the capital budget and shifting road and water/sewage projects back to the cities. As far a school bond reductions, your voters approved them believing your sainted school officials that the bond debt reimbursement would NEVER end. Retired and former superintendent Carol Comeau in Anchorage said we only have to pay a little bit of the bond because the state will pay the rest. There is not a state-wide organization any stupider than K-12 school officials. It is the easest degree in college to obtain and requires no blowback for failure. The latest test scores show Alaska schools rank near the bottom BEHIND Mississippi. I am from Mississippi and that ranking is not a compliment to our over-paid employees in K-12. It is time to privatize the K-12 school system. The statehood pact calls for 100% state funding BUT not the running of schools. NEVER should you promote a elementary school teacher like Carol Comeau to the Superintendent’s post. Most teachers have no experience or education to handle the day to day running of a school. Knowing what the kids and parents WANT is not the answer. They all want everything as long as their kid is in school. It is past time to take back our school districts. Fire any current or former teachers from the planning process. We do not need the failure of their experience in the planning of execution of a reform plan. With a starting salary in the mid-fifties with a degree from UAA (which has lost it education accreditation) with experienced teachers salaries coming close to six figures, we should have the FINEST schools int he nation NOT BEHIND MISSISSIPPI.

    • I’m curious, when you state: “The statehood pact calls for 100% state funding BUT not the running of schools.” are you implying that the state should fund private school instead of public schools? Because if you are, you proposal would violate Article 7 Section 1 of the Alaska State Constitution. Wherein the establishment of public education it is stated that “No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.” We need to keep a public schooling system, because even though I have done my time in it, and I no longer directly benefit from it, public education is still immensely important to Alaska’s future.

  • A POMV plan set at 5.25% is not sustainable. The risk of setting a draw at 5.25% is obvious when evaluated over time. Later or sooner, returns on investment will drop below 5% for a period of time that will savage the corpus of the Permanent Fund.

    The proposal floated here also doesn’t contemplate annual inflation proofing, a phenomenon that ought to worry any prudent politician.

    And seeking to skim a big portion of any POMV yeild is exactly the kind of dedication that is prohibited by Article IX, Sec. 7 of the Alaska Constution.

    Given that this is a statutory proposal, the entire unsustainable formula is nothing more than aspirational gloss; the measure would have no legal force in the context of building the State of Alaska’s annual operating budget. This is just like the existing PFD distribution formula in statute, the educational foundation formula statute, the oil exploration tax credit buy back statute and other formulas passed into law by the legislature. None of these formulas are really binding in a genuine legal sense and can be ignored by the legislature when passing a budget.

    The citizens deserve a decent PFD formula addressing how a share of the earnings derived from the Permanent Fund savings they created in the Alaska Constitution instead of the kind of silly hokum presented in this proposed legislation.

    • Not sure of the schedule for those POMV rates but they were going to eventually drop to 5%. That in itself may be a problem keeping up in the long term but the 5.25% was initially needed to work-of course that was before Dunleavy came on scene.

    • That’s the problem with these big government folks, they always want more, they are never satiated. 5.25% was supposed to be a one or two year deal and then that percentage was to drop, but that never happens with big government folk…they always need more because they always want to spend more and more and more.

      • The wording is from AS 37.13.140b which states: The corporation shall determine the amount available for appropriation each year. The amount available for appropriation is 5.25 percent of the average market value of the fund for the first five of the preceding six fiscal years, including the fiscal year just ended, computed annually for each fiscal year in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
        I’m unsure when this 5.25% drops to 5% but that was my understanding.

    • Nice to see my old Pal Geldof back in the comment section. You have been missed.
      I have one question for you Joe, in conversations with Oral Freeman who could be called the Father of the fund, it became clear to me that sums set aside in the fund were not to fund Government but rather to hold these sums safe for the people. Old Oral, being a wise Democrat knew that special interests would gobble up the last penny of oil wealth and still want more. What can you tell me about original intent?
      Thanks Joe.

  • The legislature is incentivizing bad behavior. If the University of AK performs poorly and actually loses accreditation of its Education program at UAA, then it gets more money. If our K12 system performs about the worst in the nation, give it tons more money. Why would anyone want to perform well and do a good job? If so, then they would not be rewarded. I hold the legislators responsible for Alaska’s failing K12 education system. They own it and as such, have stolen many Alaskan children’s futures. Shame on you!

  • Wow Mike Dryden. Rough stuff but I’m inclined to think you’re right. Thanks for saying it.

  • Keep your fat hands off the PFD as it belongs to the people and not you all in Juneau and need to cut down on your spending and keep your fat hands off of it. It Is not yours to spend in the first place!!

  • This kind of spending nights and days trying to spend more money on more State expansion in almost every direction has to stop!!! The State of Alaska does not have an income problem it has a spending problem…The Clown show in Juneau is not going to stop until they have everyone’s PFD as they continue to find ways to convince everyone that it is being done for their own good..!!..these folks know where the candy jar is and the lid is off..!!

    • Everyone’s PFD, property for taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, and an oxygen tax if they could enforce it (The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress). Socialism-they own everything and we Peons exist only to slave for the elite power monster.

  • This is the reason a Permanent Fund was developed to begin with, to keep big government from spending all of the money made from the resources of our state. Now 40 years later we have big government folks proposing we spend what remains of the money that was taken away from big government folks so they can spend it on big government.
    .
    The Permanent Fund is the peoples money, if the big government folks want it then put it to a vote of the people.

    • The government should give every Alaskan free driving, hunting, fishing licenses. No more car licenses fees and no more state park fees. No more state fees for Alaskans ever. We should not have to pay a penny to the state as they are steeling us blind.

  • Legislative banditry and thievery.

  • Another wormy idea from a guy who made his living getting people drunk at his bar and fat at his ice-cream cone stand. Wool is a paid mouthpiece for UAF where he gets his alumni dues paid for free. Dumb legislator trying to kiss the University prez’s a$$.

    • Didn’t his bar burn down about a week after he sold it? Must have been a rathole of a dive bar, with few upgrades to prevent fires. A liberal Democrat without a conscience for fire safety regulations, or for the welfare of the public? Yet he wants to deny Dunleavy of a full statutory dividend to the people because he thinks the money is better spent to a smaller pool of overpaid university folks? This guy drank too much booze and ate too many Rocky Roads in a sugar cone.

    • The UA president earns about $400K per year, not counting benefits like free luxury housing. Most UA administrators earn over $200K. Why does Wool prefer them with their huge earnings over ordinary Alaskans getting $3K per year of a statutorially mandated PFD? I thought Democrats were for the poor folks.

      • Have you ever tried to have an actual discussion with Adam Wool? One of the biggest dumba$$es in the Legislature. How does a guy who’s claim to fame is that he brought some criminal rapper dude to perform at his delapitated bar in Ester, Alaska. This guy is pure B S and looks like a sleazy used car salesman. The only reason he’s in Juneau is because of all the government liberals who reside in his district. Pure phoney!

        • His bar was called the Blue Loon. Outside of the Banks on Parks Hwy. A place for drunks, rappers, druggies and wacked-out Liberal pot smokers to hang. Local AST told me that it was like a magnet for drunk drivers to congregate, and that he cranked them out on the hiway in quantities. And now he writes our laws in Juneau? Go figure.

      • Not really. They like to keep the poor people under a slavery type addiction. Welfare never got anyone off of welfare. All it did was increase the numbers. My native people the Choctaw refused government handouts and that is why they went on the trail of tears to start anew in Oklahoma. Some people need help initially but unless they are willing to work hard and support themselves they become an addict of the democratic solution.

      • Donna, you thought wrong. You need to stop thinking that way.

  • Yeah, that is just what the State needs – throw more money into the rathole called “public education.” While he’s at it, why doesn’t Wool dedicate the remainder of the PFD to fund the unfunded pension liabilities of the State of Alaska so the rest of us can finally see what chumps we’ve been!

  • Wow another education hater. You know what’s wrong with education? kids on their cell phones. They are more worried if they got a text from somebody in another classroom than they are paying attention about what’s being taught to them. Some are on their computers checking out JLo instead of researching a paper. All we need to do is go back to pencil and paper an old school methods to get are old school results back where we want them. They don’t actually need to learn anything. Why learn how to do something if I can just look it up. I don’t need to know how to add and subtract I can just punch it in on a calculator. I don’t need to know punctuation I can just do spell check. I don’t need to know who general George Custer was. It doesn’t apply to me today. You get what I mean? Think tanks have weakened a couple of generations of our kids minds. Don’t blame the teachers and don’t blame the schools. The Hope was to prepare kids for a future of technology, but I fear all I did was set the kids back because they weren’t able to handle the technology that was given to them in a responsible manner. Blame social media, it turns students into mindless zombies.

    • I recall my teacher telling me that I wouldn’t always have a calculator. Well I sure showed her!

      And the most important thing we can do for kids is teach and stimulate them to read… real books, with tactile pages. Inspire their minds and let nature take its course.

      • Your teacher was correct. After the first emp you’ll have to start using your fingers and toes to count.

        • You are so correct. Readiness was one of my military jobs and I had special interest in EMP. I even have a novel about it, currently in revision to bring up to the 2020s. The three Rs are what our students need to know and that means pencil and paper from time to time, and it is very inexpensive to teach. But I do still turn to the calculator on occasion.

          • That’s fine because you do already know how to add and subtract. I’m not saying we need to go back to the Stone age. Just back to a time before social media.

    • That’s a pretty far stretch there, Greg. No one “hates education”. What we do hate is money thrown into a bottomless pit while those asking for more say “But it’s for the children.” Bull. When is enough, enough? Tell us, please, how much more will we need to pour into the pit before it is finally satisfied? How much more do we need to pay for the Chancellor’s Golden Parachute that no one of mere mortals would ever come close to making in our retirement years. That’s what we hate. Not the teachers who are working more hours than there getting paid for, not the ones who are buying supplies out of pocket. Don’t pull the typical Leftist BS on us and expect it to fly or go unchallenged.

      • But I am ultra far right.

  • Not one penny of the permanent dividend fund of mine to any of the above percentages. The idiots that are elected and put in those positions are the reason this state is in chaos.

  • Special Appropriation to Principal is 4 Billion so normal inflation proofing is 600 Million or so 4.63 Billion is now basically inflation proofing in 2020…and taken off the table Why??…

    We inflation proofed 4B/638M or 40/638 or 6.667% (7 times) more than the average. Why…So they can save our earnings for special projects in the future, instead of using it for full Dividends we are now at half or less because of the SB26 5%. if a fund is earning well above that ant the inflation proofing is accounted for at a formula’d rate why have half or more taken off the table to reduce the value of our dividend. Take the government spending out of the other half the one targeted to be transferred out as indicated on the charts on the PFD website…https://apfc.org/our-performance/

    The Alaska Permanent Fund’s investments were up 5.38% in value during the first half of the fiscal year 2020 and up 15.71% in the 12-month period for the calendar year 2019. Returns for each asset class and their respective benchmarks are available under Performance. THE 4BILLION TRANSFER 638M INFLATION PROOFING is a POWER GRAB by the Left to ARTIFICIALLY CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF YOUR

    AS OF TODAY
    DIVIDEND…$66,688,300,000 Principal $48.6 Billion | ERA $18.0 Billion
    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS PRINCIPAL $48.6 B Contributions: $41.7 B | Unrealized Gains: $6.9 B EARNINGS RESERVE ACCOUNT $18.1 B Realized Earnings $7.8 B | Unrealized Gains $2.6 B Realized Committed $7.7 B. These commitments are: FY21 POMV Draw of $3.1 B, FYTD20 Inflation Proofing of 638.9 M, the FY20 Special Appropriation to Principal of $4.0 B, and $15.5M FYTD20 for the AK Capital Income Fund.

    VALUE ADDED AS OF JUNE 30, 2019
    $6.2 B VS PASSIVE BENCH MARK OVER 5 YEARS DAILY FUND MARKET VALUE
    RATE OF RETURN FYTD AS OF JUNE 30, 2019 6.32% (7.13% OVER 5 YEARS)

  • This is getting too obvious that the democrats are not with the majority of the registered voters and it is time to re-evaluate which candidates are with the registered voters and determine if these democrats should be under the consideration for recall.

    Rep. Edgmon did indicated that the Alaskan legislatures are not supporting the full funding of PFD check, and that contradicts what the registered voters voted for the current Governor, and the current Governor did won by the landslide against his opponent, obviously a democrat.

  • We, the voting residents of Alaska, have the government we elected. We all know that elections matter, ex President Obama told us that about 4 years ago right after Donald Trump was elected. Consequences always follow elections.

    • Yeah but nobody’s running around saying I voting for Hillary now are they?

  • But the democrats get voters to the polls consistently and that is what counts… the power of the education lobby and unions.

  • I said that exact thing to Bryce Edgemon one time in an email and he turned around and dropped a dime on me.