Permanent Fund dividend whittled down by Bill Walker allies in House, but is still largest in history at $3,200

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A Permanent Fund dividend and energy assistance check that started at $5,500 in the Senate two weeks ago was whittled down to $3,200 late Wednesday night at the close of the Legislative session.

Lawmakers needed a three-quarters vote to access some funds from the Constitutional Budget Reserve to pay for the compromise that came out of the conference committee, which was $3,850.

Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chair of the Conference Committee, put a poison pill in the compromise. An opponent of the statutory dividend, Stedman counted on the House not being able to come up with the three-quarters vote to access the CBR, and he was right.

Late at night, just before the House was required to adjourn for the year, the political knives came out by the Democrats who oppose the reelection of Gov. Mike Dunleavy and wanted to try to take away a win from him. Of the 11 Democrat House members who voted against the $3,850 dividend (by voting against the CBR), six of them are deeply aligned with the campaign for governor of former Gov. Bill Walker, who started the tradition of cutting the dividend in 2016 and who was booted from office in 2018.

Those House members are Reps. Brice Edgmon, Tiffany Zulkosky, Andy Josephson, Adam Wool, and Daniel Ortiz — all who have signed on as co-chairs of the Walker-Drygas campaign.

The sixth, Rep. Grier Hopkins, is a defacto Walker surrogate, with close family ties to the former governor: He is related by marriage to Scott Kendall, Walker’s former chief of staff and who has been deeply involved in his current campaign for governor. Kendall also led the failed push to try to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Even though it is smaller than proposed in the compromise by the conference committee, the dividend is the largest in history, and it’s unlikely the governor will veto it and hold out for the extra $650 for every Alaskan. He has won most of what he set out to get, which was a full statutory dividend for Alaskans and an even-up for what was taken from them last year by the Legislature. He’ll likely turn his political sights on getting new legislators elected who will support using the statutory formula, rather than keeping Alaskans entrenched in PFD warfare year after year.

What was practically unthinkable in January has somehow made it through the legislative process in what is an election year for nearly all of the members of the Legislature. The final number is: $2,550 Permanent Fund dividend and a $650 relief assistance bonus on that dividend for every eligible Alaskan.

83 COMMENTS

  1. I see Stutes voted yes so pretty sure they knew they had the magic “11” so she and others could go back to their districts and say they voted for it. We have to vote these clowns out of Juneau! But we will be voting to keep Ben Carpenter!

  2. Alaska statutes are corporate bylaws applying to oath taking elected servants. Why spend so many hours writing statutes (corporate, distribution procedure bylaws) in the southernmost idyll in Alaska if they have no intention of obeying them in compliance with their written oaths to do so?

      • It’s a fact not an opinion or an analogy. The state of Alaska is a corporatation pursuant to the US Constitution. The elected public servants create bylaws which apply to them which they must obey and as a prerequisite sign an emolument oath to receive their stipend from the public trust funds. Fact.

  3. Actually, it got whittled down by Allies of God. Or Allies of Alaska. Or Allies of Common Sense. Or maybe just by those who actually serve in the Alaska Legislature. Why do you insist on being a destructive provocateur?

    • Pat R, I laughed out loud reading your Allies of God description! What an absurdity, God allied with Commie Public Employees Unions? God allied with Rapacious Crony Capitalist? What!
      How about God have Mercy on those Hell bound devils of destruction who have again stolen from the poor what is rightfully theirs.

      • The original vote for the $5,500 PFD from the Senate was killed by three votes. Kurka, Eastman, and Kaufman. Stabbed in the back by our own. Talk of unions, contractors, and chamber of commerce are just talk. In reality, Kurka, Eastman, and Kaufman are to blame.

        • And abortion is still in there so what was his reason (Eastman) for the no vote the first time frankly i dont want votes to use tax payer money to fund abortion but now he voted for it with a smaller dividend

    • Pat R: Maybe because at this point the only viable way to bring meaningful change is to blow it all up and start over?

    • Pat R is in an ebullient mood for some reason. Klaus Schwab says you, Pat R, will own nothing and be happy about it. That’s not what the US Constitution says.

  4. To cut the Energy Relief portion in half is a slap in the face to all Alaskans, especially those in rural areas that will be impacted severely by fuel prices in the next three months.
    Mike D., bring out the big red pen on live television and do what needs to be done and no per diem for a 1 week special session to get this done!

  5. Hey Suzanne thank you ma’am. You let us know our oath takers of integrity of the people. And you showed us our oath breakers of no integrity against the people or Obama’s evil plants. Suzanne and must read impeccable for the people you bet thank you Suzanne and must read.

  6. Rats and snakes, typical politicians, this will forever haunt you in your political aspirations wherever you go. You all will be voted out.

  7. Dunleavy’s career ended in Wasilla when he pissed himself. He’s been their Cuckhold ever since.

    Dunleavy will undoubtably take this latest slap and call it a win.

    When Walker retakes the seat as Chairman General of the Socialist Republic of Alaska, expect the PFD to end the next session. Followed with income taxes and an attack on the Corpus.

    One can only wonder where we might be if the Cowardly Lion actually stood tall in Wasilla.

    We all know where we are because he didn’t

    • If Chairman Bill had built that gas pipeline through his hometown with his money (that all you rabble socialists demand is mailed to you), we could be taking all of Russia’s former energy customers over (if King Joe would allow it). But noooooooo! Ya’ll want to spend it on trips to Hawaii and Disneyland this winter, or spend it at your local cannibis shops.

      • Reggie, paying the dividend means the dead beat Dad pays up at last and the kids get new shoes, or the family that lost their income due to the tyrannical VAX mandate can at last maybe get ahead of their bills. Yeah, and Hawaii Vacations and or paying off your student loan, or hell, maybe your 4-wheeler. Who Cares! it’s the Peoples Money, not the State’s money to begin with.

        • “……….Who Cares! it’s the Peoples Money, not the State’s money to begin with………”
          I care. That money originally came from “the People” who bought fuel at the gas pump, then from state investment returns on that money. Every dollar that is spend in Hawaii or Disneyland or on drugs or intoxicants instead of capital or operating costs represents an obscene mismanagement of public resources.

          • Reggie,
            How about we pay the government employees you love a minimum wage and that they do not get any more per diam? They make more in per diam then a lot of Alaskans make in a year.
            You are forgetting it was the same government that instituted the STATUTORY pfd (not what they vote on to give us) that never belittled Alaskans or sniped anyone who needed the money for whatever reason, yet it is the people like you in our government that berates anyone they consider below them.
            Not to mention, it does not matter what any Alaskan buys with the money, IT IS THEIR MONEY, not yours or by the governments distain now, for the people who are the beneficiaries of Alaska’s very being.
            Do you not get a refund from the Corporation of the United States (IRS) if you qualify? We Alaskans, because of the mineral rights issue and natural resources here in the State, are being taxed/controlled by giving up our rights(and to any say so we might have) to them where the government controls them.
            “an obscene mismanagement of public resources”? It is more like a mismanagement of the public’s money.(Robbing Peter to BUY Paul) Nothing more then bank robbers or looters.
            Liquidate the fund and give everyone the total amount owed them, then your loving government can have all the money for themselves. No need for this yearly bs on how much the idiots in charge, fight over how much THEY WILL ALOW US TO GET. No more arguing, distain, deception or hate on how much we are owed or have the right to.

          • Whoa! Reggie, Misconception City described in your comment above. First, it is the “peoples money” the original intent was to place 25% of the Oil $ into a fund so that the Parasitical Political Class could not spend it on themselves and their friends. It was reserved for the People. The State got the other 75% Reggie, and that is the $ that they are to pay for their Operating and Capital Budgets from.
            Evidently the State has been doing a piss poor job of managing since we are spending waay more and getting waay less services. Education? The Worst, thank God for Mississippi or we would be bottom of the heap despite throwing Billions at it. As for infrastructure Reggie, quick name one new highway built since Oil $ , yeah all those Highways were built prior to oil flowing through the pipeline. And Ferries? What a joke that system has become. The fund’s money is for the people, Government can tax the people if they deem to do so. Oh wait, rich people and over paid State Workers don’t want a tax? Hmm…Sure, stick the poor and steal their dividend.

  8. Good for Governor Dunleavy. We will work hard to get him re-elected this fall. His opponent Bill Walker carries a lot of baggage and well-deserved monikers such as: traitor, thief, and pedophile-enabler. Can’t wait for the campaign to kick-off.
    .
    As for that little child Grier Hopkins, the folks up north in his new district should have no problem taking him out this year. Red-diaper doper babies
    don’t do well when their parents are under severe stress. His Commie brother in law, Scott Kendall, will also have his hands full.

  9. Un-elect all of them except Kurka, Eastman and Reinbold. The rest can go to you know where.

    • Kurka and Eastman were the deciding votes in cancelling the $5200 PFD. Fake conservatives

    • You’re talking about those who claim to stand on principle but then immediately turn around and vote against the principle they claim to stand for? Nah, Eastman and Kurka can pound sand!

        • Bill,
          I don’t and never have counted on government money as I do fairly well for myself, but thanks for your concern. You’ve known me long enough to know I get worked up over any politics I disagree with. It’s a matter of actual principle, not the pretend principle that the likes Eastman and Kurka use while trying to make political hay.

          • OK but why would a conservative, as you claim, insist on such a large stimulus payment. The true conservatives here are those holding the line and saving for when it may be needed. This was nothing but an attempt to get Dunleavy some juice for his ill-thought free money promises IMO.

          • Bill,
            You know that conservatives believe in smaller government and empowering the people towards freedom from an overbearing government that wishes to restrict freedom at every turn, right? What you and your liberal buddy Karl view as “stimulus” and “government cheese” is nothing of the sort, the PF was set up to restrict government and government spending, it is a way for the people to control the out of control and overbearing government. Granted ever since the failed governor Bill Walker took a portion of the dividend this hasn’t worked out, which in fact illustrates the very reason the fund was created to begin with…an out of control government will continue to grow to fill its funding, this is obviously contrary to conservative belief.

            Add to that the belief conservatives have in the rule of law. I am perfectly fine if the legislature were to do its job and remove the current statute from law, but they haven’t. They are a lawless legislature doing as they deem fit which further proves the point of an out of control overbearing government that needs reined in.

            The PFD isn’t a “stimulus” or “government cheese” it is a contract between the people and the government of the people and the government has failed to hold up their part of the contract.

          • Steve-O, you are evidently believing in your own ideas of why the PF was created but it was, by design, done to save some of the energy money flowing into the State. And the contract you speak of was changed for the PFD when it became necessary to fund government, instead of pissing it away on PFDs for “freedoms.” Heheh!
            You seem to be confusing the idea of PF with PFDs as one was put into our constitution and the other was not. And the contract you confuse was nothing of the sort, as described by our own Supreme Court, when it decided that PFDs are no different from any other budget item to be decided by our legislature. Just another form of “government cheese” that Dunleavy is hanging his hat on.

        • Karl,
          How do you feel now that your boys who supposedly voted on principle voted against their supposed principles, they voted for bigger government, they vote to fund abortion, they voted against following the law? As your boy Eastman put it he voted to put the people in the back of the bus.

          • I feel fine, thanks. They’re not my representatives. Bring it up with their voters.

            You should brush up on the Alaska Constitution before you go talking about law. What law exactly is the legislature violating? Cite the statute and exactly what they did to violate it. Personal attacks and generalizations are a sign of a weak position.

            I would love for you to prove me wrong. If you do, I will gladly admit it.

          • Karl,
            The statutory language spells out the following
            1. Total the fund’s SNI from the current and previous four fiscal years;
            2. Multiply by 21%;
            3. Divide by 2;
            4. Subtract any prior year obligations, expenses and PFD program operations; and
            5. Divide by the number of eligible applicants

            See
            AS 37.13.140 Income
            Net income of the fund includes income of the earnings reserve account established under AS 37.13.145 . Net income of the fund shall be computed annually as of the last day of the fiscal year in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, excluding any unrealized gains or losses. Income available for distribution equals 21 percent of the net income of the fund for the last five fiscal years, including the fiscal year just ended, but may not exceed net income of the fund for the fiscal year just ended plus the balance in the earnings reserve account described in AS 37.13.145 .

            AS 37.13.145(b) Disposition of Income
            At the end of each fiscal year, the corporation shall transfer from the earnings reserve account to the dividend fund established under AS 43.23.045 , 50 percent of the income available for distribution under AS 37.13.140 .

            AS 43.23.025 Amount of Dividend
            (a) By October 1 of each year, the commissioner shall determine the value of each permanent fund dividend for that year by
            (1) determining the total amount available for dividend payments, which equals
            (A) the amount of income of the Alaska permanent fund transferred to the dividend fund under AS 37.13.145 (b) during the current year;
            (B) plus the unexpended and unobligated balances of prior fiscal year appropriations that lapse into the dividend fund under AS 43.23.045(d);
            (C) less the amount necessary to pay prior year dividends from the dividend fund in the current year under AS 43.23.005 (h) and under AS 43.23.055(3) and (7);
            (D) less the amount necessary to pay dividends from the dividend fund due to eligible applicants who, as determined by the department, filed for a previous year’s dividend by the filing deadline but who were not included in a previous year’s dividend computation;
            (E) less appropriations from the dividend fund during the current year, including amounts to pay costs of administering the dividend program and the hold harmless provisions of AS 43.23.075 ;
            (2) determining the number of individuals eligible to receive a dividend payment for the current year and the number of estates and successors eligible to receive a dividend payment for the current year under AS 43.23.005 (h); and
            (3) dividing the amount determined under (1) of this subsection by the amount determined under (2) of this subsection.

          • Copy/pasting statutes does not constitute an argument. I am not arguing that these statutes are on the books. What I am saying is the legislature has the authority to appropiate funds as it sees fit. Whether you agree with the decision of the AK Supreme Court in Wielechowski v. Alaska or not, they ruled that the 1976 amendment did not exempt the legislature’s use of Permanent Fund income from the anti-dedication clause of the AK Constitution. Again, this is why people are calling for a constitutional convention.

            To be clear, I don’t agree with the AK Supreme Court’s decision. However, griping every year about it is not constructive, and the only way to fix it is a constitutional convention. I tend to think this would give leftists an opportunity to put in amendments even more damaging to our natural rights, but I can see the merit in it.

          • Karl says “What law exactly is the legislature violating? Cite the statute and exactly what they did to violate it.” Steve-O cites the statute that is not being followed and thus violated? Karl says “Copy/pasting statutes does not constitute an argument.” Steve-O wasn’t arguing, but citing the statute that is being violated. Karl says “I would love for you to prove me wrong. If you do, I will gladly admit it.” Karl is proven wrong and does not gladly admit it.

            Karl, I cited the statute they are violating per you request. Now you want to talk about a constitutional convention when you should be gladly admitting you’ve been proven wrong? A con-con isn’t the only way to correct this, but it certainly does open Pandora’s Box.

          • Steve-O, your claiming a statute that the AK Supreme Court has ruled against is similar to the original law for PFDs that gave increased benefits to Alaskans based on years of residency (that was found unconstitutional by US Supreme Court).
            Essentially no different but legislators were able to fix things back in early 80s while they do essentially nothing about this thing that Walker started because they don’t need to fix it (just ignore it).
            For some reason you are needing to hang your hat on something that Dunleavy capitalized on with his initial successful run for Gov. We’ll see if he can repeat. Heheh!

          • How am I to admit being wrong when you repeatedly refuse to address any of my arguments? Yes, those statutes are on the books. The problem is that the AK Supreme court has ruled that the PFD is subject to normal appropriation by the legislature. Whether you or I agree with that decision is irrelevant. The end result is the legislature is lawfully able to decide the size of the PFD, essentially making the statutory formula optional. I just don’t think it’s worth getting worked up over the legislature’s decision when our state has far bigger problems.

    • With gas at over $5.20 a gallon and going higher and 8.4 percent inflation, I doubt a lot of Alaskans will be throwing their money away.

  10. The original offer was $5,500 ($4,200 full PFD and $1,300 economic stimulus), which passed the Senate but was denied by the House Majority (see vote outcome). After Conference Committee the offer was lowered to $3,850 ($2,550 PFD and $1,300 economic stimulus), but with strings attached. Rep. Hopkins had the deciding vote, which he waited for several seconds in a dramatic showing before he placed the nail on the Alaskans PFD coffin. I wanted you to get the original $5,500 offer and when denied to get the $3,850. The House Majority voted for you to get the lesser amount…why? Maybe because they don’t believe you can handle money as good as they can? I say otherwise.
    By the way, I heard from many witnesses after the final vote that Rep. Hopkins was crying. Maybe reach out to him to confirm he is okay.

  11. According to our State Constitution, when money is taken from one part of our budget in any given year to pay or fund some other pork, the money that was given to the other pork is supposed to be paid back to the coffers from which they were stolen from the next year. Where and when are we going to get what is/was stolen from ALL past dividends? They are already in default of not paying us back since, PFD stalker Walker, commander and thief.

    • If that is the case, Lucinda, why is it the Libs are the ones always taking? Just how much of what another earns is your fair share?

    • The Biden voter fraud system has been firmly installed here in Alaska, thanks to dominion voting and rank choice

  12. So, what happened with the State-funded abortion issue? “Compromised” into continuing to fund the multi-billion dollar slush fund by way of taxpayer money…again?

    • Not to mention the body part collection and ingredients for vaccines. They just keep sucking money from anyone and anywhere they can.

  13. If Hopkins was so upset why did he vote to take our money? No sympathy for him, hope he’s hurting while out looking for a job same time next year.

  14. “Highest dividend ever” has been the talking point of the Democrats from the get-go. Two words on that:

    1) Inflation.
    2) Statute (law).

    Some laws are complicated. This one isn’t. Whether the stock market does great or the stock market does lousy, Alaskans have asked us to follow the law and allow the dividend to work the way it was designed to work, and has worked for decades. Alaskans never voted to put the amount of the dividend in the hands of politicians.

    When you do that you end up with shell games and hide-the-bacon like we saw these past two weeks where the budget that is passed says the dividend will be one amount, and then Alaskans find out later that it will be a different amount because the budget set a higher vote threshold for the dividend than literally for any other item in a budget that is well into the tens of billions of dollars.

    The people have been moved from first call, front of the bus, to the back of the bus—whatever is left (if there even is anything left). The people don’t exist to serve the government. The government exists to serve the people.

    • Says the guy who voted against paying the statutory PFD on principle to then vote for a reduced “back of the bus” dividend in a budget that had higher levels of spending than the one he just voted against a few days before…principles be damned!

      What a sad joke, do you think anyone takes you seriously?

    • Yes, inflation is real, and the statutes should be followed. That said, votes are also real. You voted against concurring with the Senate budget. The ONLY acceptable reason for such a vote is that you thought it likely (at least possible) that the Alaskans in your district (and Alaskans in general) would be better off because you non-concurred.
      Are we?
      Please reply explaining how the adopted budget is an improvement over the Senate version. Now that you have time on your hands, consider an op-ed. MRA might publish it. I would read it.
      Or come clean and admit the vote to non concur was a foolish choice.

    • Any conservative, when left in Juneau for long enough, turns into a PFD stealing RINO. Case in point

  15. What of those who claim to stand on principle but then immediately turn around and vote against the principle they claim to stand for? Eastman and Kurka can pound sand!

  16. Not the “largest” PFD in history. Consider inflation and the first $1000 PFD was larger than the 2022 amount.

    • That is very true, CEF. Neither the US dollar, nor any fiat currency, is a stable yardstick of value.
      They are all constantly depreciating, as that is inherent in the nature of fiat currencies, being as they are simply a wealth-pump from the average person to the specially connected and predatory elite.

  17. If you’re still thinking of voting for Walker or any of his “true believers” seek help!
    Masochism is a terrible thing. Oh, seen help that doesn’t charge anything because Walkerites will ensure you don’t have any money. They need it ALL! They have massive political debts to be paid – and you’re the one expected to pay them.

  18. If I remember right, Kurka is also running for governor. Is this how he will fight for Alaskans? If so, would he have the staying power to continue to fight for his entire term as Dunleavy has done. It has been an amazing year. I strongly advise all Alaskans to be sure to vote. Scott Kendall and Walker are most likely hoping that you don’t. Even though the election system was designed by the aforementioned Scott Kendall, voters must throw it right back in his face by participating fully and defeating Walker once and for all.. As for the Walker allies, throw them out! Clean out Juneau and take back Alaska! And sorry, Masked Avenger, Big Mike is still fighting for you, just quietly wearing out the opposition and in this case, backing them up to the wall in an election year when they can’t get away with taking the whole PFD. Sometimes, instead of shouting them down or a frontal battle, you must out maneuver them.

  19. Nice smear article on Bill…. Isnt even involved but you managed to write a piece about how its his fault the PFD was whittled down to become the largest ever. What an oxymoronical article. How do you even call this news, its opinion. Also, he was not “Booted from office”, he didnt run for re-election, get your facts straight.

    • Steven, I seem to recall Bill Walker being on the Ballot, there was some kind of last minute decision on his part to tell everyone he was “dropping out”, was it because his running mate withdrew under mysterious circumstances? I cannot recall, anyway he did receive over 3,000 votes in the General Election.

      The facts are, your buddy Bill did the unthinkable and stole the PFD from the people. I wonder given the current climate if he will garner more or less than 3,000 votes in his upcoming bid? I mean, despite Dumblevy’s feckless leadership and Les is Less Gara’s extremely popular Democratic Party thanks to Joe Biden it will be interesting! I sure hope that Walker comes in at least fourth! Maybe Palin will endorse him again?

    • Oh he ran, he withdrew because even he realized what a failure his administration was after his Lt. was caught red handed being a pedo and he was forced to replace him.

  20. Steven, we were here for the events. Our facts are straight. The public has an opinion about the breaking of the confidence that elected representatives will be loyal to local pfd distributions as electorate public had a right to expect. One action generates a reaction which could be anticipated by even a group of simpletons.

  21. Unpopular opinion of the day: torch the PFD.

    I’m tired of so-called conservatives getting their undies in a bunch over a government check. Get rid of the PFD, get rid of property tax, institute a state-wide sales tax. At least then we can get some money from all the transients instead of sending the PFD out of state.

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