By ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
More than a few lawmakers are urging Gov. Mike Dunleavy to stick to his guns in demanding a full, $3,000 Permanent Fund dividend for Alaskans this year.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers told Dunleavy in a letter Friday they supported paying Alaskans their 2019 Permanent Fund Dividends according to the full statutory formula. Under that formula, established by law in 1982, each Alaskan would get a $3,000 dividend.
“Alaskans are fully justified in expecting their dividends to be distributed based on this traditional formula,” the lawmakers wrote, “Similarly, they are justified in feeling angry and shortchanged by the Legislature’s unilateral decision to not pay the full amount owed to Alaskans.”
Those who signed the letter include: Sens. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, Shelly Hughes, R-Palmer, Peter Micciche, R-Kenai, Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and Reps. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, Sharon Jackson, R-Eagle River, Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage, Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, Dave Talerico, R-Healy, and Sarah Vance, R-Homer.
Lawmakers have sent the governor budget legislation including a $1,600 dividend. He has vowed he would settle for nothing less than a $3,000 dividend and has yet to sign the legislation into law.
Instead of relying on the 1982 statute to set the dividend’s amount, some lawmakers have opted to instead use political whim and expediency to set the amount.
It is nice to see some lawmakers still have respect for the law.