Senate passes $1,300 PFD

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The Alaska State Senate passed Senate Bill 107 on Monday, which would drastically reduce the Permanent Fund dividends that Alaskans are set to receive this fall, in order to make more funds available for state spending. The amount for the dividend is $1,300 in SB 107.

Sponsored by Senate Finance Committee, SB 107 uses a “75-25” split, with 75% of the available Permanent Fund earnings going to pay for state government, and 25% leftovers appropriated for the PFDs.

The differences must now be ironed out with the House, which has proposed a $2,700 PFD, costing the budget some $1.7 billion and leave a budget shortfall of up to $800 million, which could be borrowed from the Constitutional Budget Reserve, if enough members of the House and Senate vote to allow it.

The House PFD formula is known as the “50-50 Plan,” because it splits available earnings from oil revenues half and half between the people of Alaska and the state government.

Senate leadership opposes the House’s plan, and the House majority opposes the 75-25 split. The governor has proposed a full statutory PFD of $3,400, which would eat up about $2.2 billion of the budget, but which follows the existing statutory formula.

The bill passed with 12 votes in favor, seven against, including four members of the majority joining with the three-member minority, made up of Senators Robert Myers, Shelley Hughes, and Mike Shower, in voting against. Sen. Scott Kawasaki was absent.

SB 107 does contain a clause that would allow a 50-50 dividend if the state gets $1.3 billion in new revenue (which would likely have to come through a tax on oil or on people) and if the Department of Revenue shows a balance of no less than $3.5 billion in the Constitution Budget Reserve, which is an account the Legislature can borrow from to balance the budget. The current balance in that account is $2.59 billion.

Sen. Myers tried to get approval of his amendment that said the PFD calculation would be sent to the people of Alaska for a vote, but his amendment failed. Sen. Jesse Kiehl, a Juneau Democrat, argued that it is inappropriate to delegate the Legislature’s authority to the people. Only Myers, Hughes, and Shower voted in favor of that amendment.

The Legislature is facing a deadline of May 17, the 121st day, when it must either gavel out or go into special session.

80 COMMENTS

  1. NEA, the ASD school board, and the AK Dems teamed up to cut homeschool programs as much as possible. Then the Senate cut homeschool kids PFD, mostly to pump that money back into the NEA.

    NEA has both hands in homeschool kids pockets, totally shameless.

    At least my kids can read. Still a better option than ASD.

    • Huh? I don’t understand your comment “Then the Senate cut homeschool kids PFD, mostly to pump that money back into the NEA”. Are you saying that Alaskan kids who are homeschooled received a lesser PFD than every other Alaskan?

      • If the gov confiscates 75% of your PFD and puts in into the failing public schools, the effect is that the wealth transferred from individuals goes to programs run by the NEA. Homeschool kids might, in theory, be using their PFD to support their own education directly, but instead the 75% of the funds they would otherwise possibly spend on their own educations, is spent on socialize education programs to which they do not subscribe. Yes, I see the point of this comment. Whether you want to spend your PFD on a new TV, or you want to invest it into your home education program, the Senate should stop taking it for themselves, and spending it however THEY like. Homeschool kids really do come out smarter and better off than Alaska’s abysmal public schools. It’s time to stop paying big money for crappy outcomes.

        • Sure but suggesting that the Senate is cutting homeschool kids PFD is absolutely false. Fake news as usual, followed up by comments that make absolutely no sense.
          Also, homeschooled kids do not come out smarter or better (that is seriously one of the most pretentious things ones could say). It comes down to what the parents are teaching the kids (if homeschooled) & what school they go to (if going to a public school). Let’s get our facts straight before pointing fingers and making outrageous claims like that.

          • “Also, homeschooled kids do not come out smarter or better”. Not only do they, but PUBLICLY educated kids in 47 other states do also.

  2. The PFD is supposed to be for the people. What part of this do the legislators not understand. Sure, some of the money should go towards government, but it seems like they take whatever they want and more. I’m disappointed with all of government!

    • Get used to it, this is politics. POLITICIANS steal from WE THE PEOPLE to give to their own bloated government. Check out our federal government for way mire really bad example of these contemptable, fiscally irrisponsible misrepresentatives overspend.
      We need to reign in the school system, take a fiscal, not emotional approach.
      We need to remove many programs and organizations, starting with NEA (look up randi weingarten, nuf said), EQUITY anything, diversity anything, inclusion anything… these fiscally irrisponsible programs and organizations are just thieves (money, time) and causing mass delusions, emotional distress, violence….
      Politician, thy name is pirate or viking (rape, pillage and burn us to the ground)….

    • Yes, Maureen, the legislature votes a huge pay raise for themselves and then makes up part of the resulting budget deficit by stealing most of our PFD. That is the way this legislature rolls, but Alaskans keep electing them time and time and time again.

    • They lie
      We need to have a donstitutional convention and deal with their treachery…. If we still have a state the next election

  3. If State House signs Senate Bill 107 then it goes to Governors office for his signature he first must get out his red veto pen and line item out a whole bunch of irresponsible state spending, but, but, but oh that’s right, he won’t do it because he never was a good executive 😉

  4. Kiehl is delusional because he believes there exist power in government without the will of the people. This is emblematic of the actual problem. Legislators have bypassed the constitution that states the government is by the people, for the people. Not for jack boots that usurp the will of the people at every opportunity and gratuitously throw money at their friends. Hofman is in the biggest welfare state in Alaska and constantly argues for more state money in a region where there exists no economy beyond the government tit. This is the future in Alaska. Tyranny with no regard for the people working, only cow towing to the people getting government largesse.

    • Keihl is correct. Government has power over the electorate because the electorate is too lazy to fight to take it back.

      How many incumbents were defeated? How many legislators have been sent back, tune and again, despite doing exactly opposite of what they ran on?

      We have the government we deserve.

      • Masked Avenger, perhaps a better question for your Senator Kiehl might be how it is that he and the other Special Interest Whores can ignore a Statute, in this case the one detailing how the fund’s dividend is disbursed.
        I mean to say, at the very least you think they could at least repeal the damn Statute?

        • He can ignore the statues because he is in a safe seat as are the rest of the legislature.

          He has seen, over and over again, we the electorate will accept being screwed by the legislature and send them back for more.

          I think there is a lot they “could” do, more they “should” do, but nothing they “will” do. Since we have shown there is no punishment for violating our laws.

          Nothing will change until the voters, statewide, have had enough and actually start tossing them out in droves.

          If you’re expecting them to have a sudden bout of conscience, you’ll be waiting a long time.

        • Right? They’re just lawbreakers at this point. And “Sen. Jesse Kiehl, a Juneau Democrat, argued that it is inappropriate to delegate the Legislature’s authority to the people.” Such a nondemocratic Democrat.

  5. Here we go again. Get in there, Governor Mike, and fight for us like we fought for you last November.

    • Agree with Larry. Mike Dunleavy won his second term on a full payout of the PFD. Everybody knows that. So Governor, it’s time to buck up and show your constituency that you will keep fighting for us and stand up to the corrupt forces in the legislature that would limit our statutory, due share.

      • The Cowardly Lion has not fought anything, anywhere. The only reason we got as much of the PDF as we did is because it was an election year.

        The legislature was buying votes, nothing else. The spineless lump had nothing to do with it.

    • Dunleavy is a globalist he has no intention of helping the people of Alaska.Just wait he has big plans for us…

  6. Enough of the stealing from Alaskans!! Reduce the budget.

    So damn tired of these legislators. They simply are not for the people of Alaska. They are kissing up to Unions and special interest groups.

    WE WANT OUR FULL PFD!!!Period

  7. Alaska State legislators are nothing but a mob of swine at the trough. Pigs, all of you. You guys should all be on your knees thanking Jesus you’re in Juno and not here on the mainland. Because I’d like to see if any of you worthless corrupt cowards could actually say that number to our faces.

  8. I would rather have a smaller dividend than to pay a tax to support a PFD payment and state services. The Alaska Supreme Court recognized that the dividend amount is subject to appropriation and that permanent fund earnings are not dedicated to the PFD. I have enjoyed, the PFD over the years.

  9. We have the government we deserve.

    It’s sad, but that’s the reality. When most of the state can’t bother to vote, less participate in the system, and fewer still in school oversight…this is what we get.

    And deserve.

    • We need to get off ERIC and clean up our voter rolls so that we really know what percentage of legally registered voters are not voting.
      Some voter id laws would be awesome (pipe dreams)….
      These politicians really hate us, it is truly a sad time.

  10. You all may not realize it, but the Legislature cannot hear you from here. You have to actually call or write them, if you can fit it into your day. Your decision.

    • I call, i write, i am a nuisance to as many of them as i can be, especially constant and claman.
      I get told that they are listening (none of them are), and sometimes i will get a few paragraphs of an excuse why they did what they did. They are following the democrat party agenda with a vengeance. The DNC truly hates we the people and are actively turning us against each other.
      They want us mad, lets remember it is the politicians and the special interest groups (very left leaning, climate freaks, anti gas, anti oil, anti roads and bridges…) doing this crapola. Lets kick em out of Alaska! Starting with all DEMOCRATS and RINOs.
      Vetting conservative politicians who will BE fiscally responsible and pull us OFF the financial cliff already instead of pushing us off it.

  11. More commonsense alaskans must use their time attending such
    neighbor councils and constituent meetings like may 6th at uaa student union for dunbar/gray district. Bring a friend. Please don’t yell at these elected citizens, they or crowd got involved at our basic government level with thier hope oneday to push their interests and immoral values.
    Now they are here dominating the legislature, because of their own work or thework by others who got involved at neighborhood councils so new-comers as jenny/benny armstrong are pushed through. We must stay or get involved at government’s basic level. You know if szanto’s 1000+ voters packed the student union, including the neighborhood councils, that be amazing!

  12. Yea Votes: Bishop, Bjorkman, Giessel, Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Kaufman,
    Kiehl, Merrick, Olson, Stedman, Stevens, Tobin

    Nay:Claman, Dunbar, Hughes, Myers, Shower, Wielechowski,
    Wilson

    Excused: Kawasaki

    • Wielechowski confuses me. He supports full PDF while supporting measures that will drive oil companies out of business.

      Is he senile, acting on personal integrity, or have two different paymasters?

  13. I demand that the state not charge me for any state fees. I want something for the theft of my money governor.

      • And everything else. State residents should not have to pay any state fees as they are stealing our money. We should get everything for our missing thousands. We are paying state taxes as in our PFD cut the state budget 50% to start with you thieves.

        • $1,300 is getting close to chicken feed money. Down here in Florida the state is just giving everyone a huge raise. I know people are getting a $14,000 a year pay raise. Untrained high school graduates want to be a prison guard can now get a starting pay of $23 an hour and with the shortage going on, overtime is pretty much guaranteed. Work as much as you want. Republican lead legislatures along with one of the strongest governors in the business throwing money around. Doing what’s right for the people instead of ripping them off. I don’t know why you folks up there take it. That didn’t work for Mussolini either. We all know what happened to his dumbass.

  14. Gov. Dunleavy will call a Special Session because we are spending too much on Education and not enough on PFD government hand outs for sales tax revenue. Where is Governor William J. Le Petomane when you need him?

  15. I know I’ll be hated madly for this point of view but here it is: The PFD program has created more problems than any good it’s generated. Parents taking their children’s money. Out of state people using bogus addresses for ‘free checks’. Parasites in the state government continuously searching for ways of taking over the program to put the cash in their hands.

    Lets just end it. Lets say one big check next year and the entire program ends. Disband it all. Sorry, but I never moved here for the PFD and I won’t leave my home if it stops.

    • IMO the PFD problem was easily predictable. Any government, regardless of alleged party affiliation, was gonna raid it sooner or later.

      Politicians can’t help themselves. Part of why I wish we had term limits.

      I’ve often wondered if this whole mess would have been averted if back when, the PFD had been capped at a certain rate instead of left floating.

      In the meantime, however, it’s money legally owed us and should be paid as the statute lays out.

    • The PFD was a nice perk when my wife and I moved here 7 years ago. Honestly? I agree with you. One day they’re going to zero it out. Might as well be sooner rather than later. This state is going down the drain.

      • Amen! My PFD for 2022 cost more in federal taxes than I’m willing to assume. My late husband and I both agreed the PFD was a bad idea from its conception. We came to Alaska in 1959 as children. Now we have an entitled mentality that demands it. We worked our asses off in this state from the time we were old enough to work, and saw this debacle coming. The money influx was great while it lasted. In today’s world, we need to regroup.I’m all in favor of cutting off the parasites.

    • And with this Stedman means “we gotta make [legislator’s] payroll” that was increased significantly after they voted for themselves a huge pay raise.

    • Funny how it never crossed his mind the “company” has more people than it actually needs.

    • Funny thing is, back in March of this year I watched a senate finance subcommittee meeting at which time Bert Stedman literally said “We are one of the richest states in the country”. That statement is a matter of public record and is on file in Juneau.

      • You don’t have enough people to be the wealthiest in the nation. You may have enough natural resources if that’s what he was talking about. Having the natural resources like Alaska does is like having a whole bunch of money in the bank and the bank never opens so you can’t use it. Pretty much worthless.

  16. Well this vote in the senate cleared things. Only senators Myers, Hughes, and Shower are legitimate representatives of the people. The rest are communists.

    • And the people who voted the rest of those fools in? Are they not entitled to the kind of representation they chose?

      Be careful here. Open this door it’ll never close.

  17. ASD should also be funded using a performance based formula on a sliding scale. If students test at the top they get 100% of their budget. If students test at or near the bottom the scale they get the equivalent of funding. Its as simple as “no performance/no pay”. That was how I preferred to work the majority of my career as a mechanic and enjoyed retirement at an early age of 50 with the help of investing in my own retirement system. Performance based incentive pay is the most effective way of getting the most out of employees as well as customer AND employee satisfaction. Any smart business owner who offers that is nearly always guaranteed success. Education is such a large part of every budget it is foolish not to have performance based funding for all government based institutions. But if you mention the word performance in the job description you are discriminating against the “leaches” and will certainly get sued with the help of ACLU for expecting someone to accomplish something other than lounging in plush taxpayer provided facilities because they are a “minority race” or are confused about what genitals they have. Isnt “Democracy” just great? I am now looking for a “neutral” place to enjoy the rest of my retirement.

    • Are you also saying that crappy parents that don’t do their job and their children’s education get taxed more and good parents don’t pay anything?

  18. Thought I read something somewhere some time ago something about a statute or something regarding the distribution or something.

  19. I wonder how many on here have taken the time to write or call their Senator to thank them for voting against the 75-25 plan or to tell them how disappointed they are that they voted to completely disregard the statutory language that has been set in law for over 40 years.

    Probably wouldn’t hurt to write or call your Representative while you are at it.

    • I’ve interacted with my reps several times. While I don’t agree with their BS, they do at least respond.

      Jesse Kiehl is above such petty things as constituent service.

      • Mine responded once. Actually twice. I was on here bad mouthing them. A few days later they were sitting next to my boss during a graduation ceremony and the next thing I knew my boss was saying that I needed to shut up that it could get hard for us. I set up for a while and after a few minutes got back into it on a subject and once again my boss notified us saying I just got word that he’s at it again. What I learned from all this is the first amendment is alive and well as long as you’re willing to pay the price. I wasn’t willing to pay the price so I decided to leave Alaska. Now that price is free.

  20. “ Sen. Jesse Kiehl, a Juneau Democrat, argued that it is inappropriate to delegate the Legislature’s authority to the people.” …The legislature’s authority comes from the people and someone should remind that Juneau socialist of that fact.

    • Kiehl was elected with room to spare. Therefore, his authority WAS granted by the people.

      Does anyone understand basic civics?

      • “ Sen. Jesse Kiehl, a Juneau Democrat, argued that it is inappropriate to delegate the Legislature’s authority to the judicial branch”, There fixed it for ya.

  21. Amusing that with all the elected “lawmakers” in the Alaska Legislature, only three Senators and the Governor are calling for the PFD to be legally distributed according to Alaska Statute? If Legislators were illegally relieved of half their salary, or their per diem, just because residents chose to do so, I’m betting attitudes would change?

  22. Amazing. Cost of living basics have skyrocketed in Alaska the past few months for the average working person but fat cat legislators steal our PFD? Last years disbursement was the only way we could make ends meet every month and prices hadn’t risen as much as today so it’s gotten much worse. Such a shame for so many that truly rely on THEIR (residents of Alaska) fund which was not designed for elected officials to manipulate.

  23. Taxation without representation. I hope that they are proud to be the first state to tax infants and children, as well as adults.

  24. Sen Jesse Kiehl says it’s inappropriate to let the people decide what is in the legislature’s authority to do. Well, RCV sure got delegated.

  25. After reading the state spends one hundred and seventeen thousand dollars for every person in Alaska, I find it impossible to believe they need more money.

  26. So no one ever wonders why a relatively financially solvent Mat Su Borough does not pay much for its policing ? State funded State Troopers police much of the area. Anchorage has zero Trooper coverage. Either a borough funded Sheriff Department or Borough Police force. Small government means you control it and you pay for it. Taxpayers elect ASD school board members whether I like them or not and the same for our property taxes that go to fund schools. Need to rethink how and where the State Troopers are assigned and a mechanism that the user pays for some of the services.

  27. Dun-left-conservatism, needs to whip out his big red pen and veto that bill, and make the statement that the statutory formula already in effect will remain and to quit monkeying with the formula. It amazes me how the legislature is never satisfied with what they have, but must continue to feed at the public trough to siphon more and more into their coffers, to spend us into debt, and keep us begging for what is suppose to already be ours.

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