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PFD stalled out? Legislative working group will meet every day until special session, with some public testimony scheduled

The legislative working group tasked with presenting a long-term solution to the state’s fiscal imbalance has met a few times, but has little to show for their work since convening July 7. Many of the financial presentations that have been staged for the group have been heard numerous times during the regular session.

Read: Working group convenes first meeting

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Now, the working group will begin meeting every day until the Aug. 2 special session, and may continue meeting even after that session begins, until the group has a product to offer the Legislature.

  • The Thursday, July 22 meeting will be a public meeting, beginning at 2:30 pm with an overview of constitutional amendment proposals. The governor has requested that the Legislature allow the voters to decide if the Permanent Fund dividend calculation formula should be in the State Constitution. Documents are at this link. The meeting will be teleconferenced at this link.
  • Friday, July 23 will be an “internal work session,” not open to the public. More of these private meetings will continue Saturday and Sunday.
  • The next public meeting will be Monday, July 26 at 3 pm, with presentations from the different members on their proposed fiscal plans.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, they’ll go back into “internal conversation,” otherwise known as executive session.
  • The public will be able to provide testimony next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:
  • Thursday, July 29, 6-9 pm: Anchorage
  • Friday, July 30, 6-9 pm: Mat-Su
  • Saturday, July 31, 1-4 pm Fairbanks

At this point, the public doesn’t have the information to inform their testimony and it’s unclear when the public will be given the draft proposals.

Read: Why Alaskans can’t have nice things

  • Sunday, Aug. 1, the co-chairs hope to wrap up “if we have anything to show for it,” according to the group’s schedule.
  • Monday, Aug. 2 is the first day of special session. The House Speaker and Senate President may gavel in and out in a “technical session” if there is nothing from the working group to look at, and this could be the case for many days after special session starts.

The working group’s co-chairs are Sen. Lyman Hoffman, the longest serving legislator in Alaska history, and Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins. Both are Democrats.

The group is trying to solve the problem created by Senate Bill 26 four years ago. That bill created a structured “draw” from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account to help pay for government. But SB 26 did not address how the Permanent Fund dividend would be paid, and since SB 26 passed, the dividend has been relegated to a “what’s left over” status, in violation of Alaska Statute.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. The PFD died the day Dunleavy wet himself over the Wasilla call.

    He stood very small, let the legislature off the hook then hid behind his desk for months.

    At that moment the PFD died. The only good thing is it took the Cowardly Lion’s career with it

  2. We the people don’t matter anymore
    I have the only solution but if I said It I would be arrested

  3. Only a psychopathic politician (redundant, I know) can look you in the eye and insist that Alaska cannot afford to pay you your statutory PFD, even as the PF continues to double in value every 10-15 years.
    In ten years from now, when the PF is valued at $150 billion, they will still be insisting that the state cannot afford to give you your PFD…..and that you are greedy, entitled trash for thinking otherwise.

    • No, what will happen is, they will grow state government so ten years from now it costs $150 billion to run it.

      Nobody in the Legislature has ever choked over the word “no” when it comes to spending.

  4. Wouldn’t be surprised to find out the only way of fixing the state’s “financial imbalance” is by stiffing productive Alaskans with an income tax and a sales tax and maybe a head tax for “education”.
    Why it’s taking so long to roll out might be due to the challenge of packaging it so productive Alaskans, already fed up with losing lives and livelihoods to China flu hysteria, don’t take out their frustrations on the bast… (hey!) who spent their state into “imbalance”.
    Remember, legislators are outnumbered 7 to 1 by special interests who already bought or leased their services. Doesn’t take a PhD in political science to figure out who’ll get fed first and who’ll get fed last, if at all.
    So the Holy City of Juneau suddenly manufactures dire China flu numbers and regulations as a reasonable precaution to keep locals under control and outsiders out.
    And, sadly for our state, productive Alaskans will go along with this cosmetic theater because they’re more afraid of losing their stuff than their Constitutional freedoms.

  5. No PFD for us peasants! Thank you Dunleavy for vetoing it all away and playing right into the hands of the Dem/RINO cabal

  6. It appears that We Alaskans are being Gamed Out of our legitimate share of Alaska’s Oil & Mineral wealth by a Democrat/Rino/Special interest Controlled Legislature! I believe we’ve arrived at a breach of trust moment with the state, where they’re no longer recognizing our legitimate right to any share of the PFD!

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