It may be unusual for legislators to start petitions on Change.org.
But Rep. Sara Rasmussen of District 22 said she wanted to find a way to reach the leadership of the House and Senate with a big message encouraging them to release the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend early this year. Asking constituents to write letters wasn’t impactful enough.
Rasmussen settled on a Change.org petition. Since launching her petition two days ago, she’s gotten over 2,000 signatures on it. It’s not too late, she said, to get the Legislature to change course, since it is technically in recess.
“Tens of thousands of Alaskans have been laid off or unable to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An idea with broad bipartisan support to pay the Permanent Fund Dividend early has been introduced by the Alaska Economic Stabilization Team and data shows an early partial dividend pay out in May/June – September/October would supplement any stimulus measures taken by the Federal Government. Alaskans need cash NOW to address some of the job losses, business struggles and failures, and overall hardship,” Rasmussen wrote.
“There is still time for the Alaska Legislature to get cash to Alaskans in a stabilizing way and they need to hear from Alaskans that this is a priority. This petition will be delivered to the legislative leadership in the Alaska State House and the Alaska State Senate. Sign today to show your support!”