Senate passes emergency non-PFD payment of $1,000

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The Alaska Senate today passed an amendment to the operating budget that would issue a $1,000 emergency payment to most Alaskans in the next few weeks.

The amendment was offered by Sen. Mike Shower of Wasilla, and came after a similar amendment offered by Sen. David Wilson failed to pass; the Wilson amendment would have repaid Alaskans their $1,300 still due to them from last year’s Permanent Fund dividend, had it been issued according to the statutory formula.

Shower’s amendment did not refer to the PFD at all. It is a purely economic stimulus check that Alaskans would get in April, if the House goes along with it.

Whether the House will agree remains to be worked out between the two in conference committee. The conference committee process could see that payment reduced.

Voting for the cash payment to Alaskans were Senators Shower and fellow Republicans Shelley Hughes, Peter Micciche, Lora Reinbold, Josh Revak, Natasha von Imhof, and David Wilson; also Democrat Senators Tom Begich, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Scott Kawasaki, Donny Olson, and Bill Wielechowski.

Voting against the emergency allocation were Republican Senators Click Bishop, John Coghill, Cathy Giessel, Bert Stedman, and Gary Stevens; and Democrats Sen. Lyman Hoffman and Jesse Kiehl,.

Amendment 6 is not paying back the Permanent Fund dividend that was cut in half last year, but is about getting cash into families in Alaska at a time of year when they need it most — the end of winter.

In fact, if Sen. Shower had tied his amendment to the dividend, it probably would not have passed, since a majority of senators do not want to be caught in a position of voting in favor of restoring an already decided-upon dividend from last year. That might put them in a legal quandary of admitting that there’s money due.

“We just need to get money into people’s hands before we rule over ashes,” Shower said. “It’s not perfect, but this would put $4,000 into a family of four right now.”

If the measure gets conference committee approval, Alaskans might also see a $1,000 dividend in the fall, as that is the amount that is currently being discussed for this year’s dividend. That decision is also not final.

15 COMMENTS

  1. You can call it a pig for all I care. Get the money to the people of Alaska who need it most. Been a cold winter and Spring. Still buying heating oil out here in the bush. PCE doesn’t even matter now. We need cash to buy oil at any cost.

  2. I hope this passes, it will cover our rent and oil for next month which may be worrisome as layoffs are coming.

  3. Rule over ashes…” ashes , ashes, we all fall down”.
    These looters of the people’s money are worried about restoring a statutory dividend, however they will parcel out crumbs in their magnificent benevolence. A Corona upon them.

    • They are doing it this way so that they can ask for federal funds later to get paid back. If they say it’s from the PFD then they will not be able to ask feds for the money.

  4. I wouldn’t count on anything when the legislative liberals have yet to “vote” on it. See what happened today with the federal help attempt for all Americans. Democrats will sacrifice the citizens if they don’t get their way. Same old, same old for Alaska with the leftists in charge of the house, judiciary and enough RINOs to keep control. The only help we can expect from them is a helping hand into poverty and despair unless you’re one of them and/or a “public employee”. Never would I have thought Alaska would sink into the abyss of leftist “gimme”. I can’t say that any longer. The great idealism that once made Alaska exceptional is not to be seen in these trying times. Instead of uniting Alaskans in a common cause, the democrats are deliberately causing hardship and strife, especially for the “common” citizens that aren’t leftists. Is there a reason? You bet there is. They want absolute domination and control of all things Alaskan/American and they are willing to go to genocidal lengths to achieve it. If you don’t believe it, just look around with your eyes open and listen with your ears hearing. The writing is all over the wall. Big problems ahead and they’re ignoring them and their constituents in favor of greed and power. They don’t seem to care.

  5. I don’t want a handout, I want what is legally mine.
    .
    These politicians aren’t listening to their constituents.

    • Tick tock, House majority. Alaskans are hurting. Isn’t it your job to help Alaskans? Out of work. Soon out of a house. What say you? How about a hand up?

  6. So was there any verbiage put in which halts all liens or garnishments on this money?
    Or is it a cash cow for Diamond Parking or the Muni or the IRS?

  7. Don’t hold your breath on the $1000…it’s far from a done deal. With Edgemon calling the House shots, that $1000 is bound to be reduced.

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