Will it pass? Senate OKs $5,500 payment for qualifying Alaskans, including full statutory Permanent Fund dividend

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The Alaska Senate voted Monday, 10-9 and 12-7 for budget amendments that have a combined $5,500 for every qualifying Alaskan — man, woman, and child. The payment is made up of a full statutorily calculated Permanent Fund dividend, plus a $1,300 energy assistance check, to help families with the high cost of fuel.

But that’s just the Senate. The House had earlier approved a set $1,300 dividend and an additional $1,300 energy assistance check, for a total of about $2,600. The difference between the two will be hashed out in conference committee.

The Senate has not yet approved the operating budget, in which the Permanent Fund dividend amendment is just one part. The entire budget is set for a vote on Tuesday.

The vote in favor of the full PFD included Republican Senators Mia Costello, Roger Holland, Shelley Hughes, Robert Myers, Lora Reinbold, Mike Shower, and David Wilson, along with Democrats Scott Kawasaki, Donny Olson, and Bill Wielechowski.

Voting against the statutory dividend were Republicans Peter Micciche, Click Bishop, Josh Revak, Bert Stedman, Gary Stevens; and Democrats Tom Begich, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Lyman Hoffman, and Jesse Kiehl.

Sen. Natasha Von Imhof was excused from Senate proceedings; she is an opponent of large dividends and is not running for reelection. All other lawmakers but Sen. Donny Olson must run this year to retain their seats.

The governor had at the beginning of the year requested a $2,600 dividend and a $1,250 relief check, along with a path forward for setting the formula into the Alaska Constitution by taking it to a vote of the people.

51 COMMENTS

  1. The budget will not be passed on time, which will help the full pfd measure pass because fuel barges will arrive in villages and the $20/gal sticker shock is going to galvanize the rural voting block

  2. Cynical Senate buffoonery. They have done this before. They will let the House take all the heat for making a responsible appropriation which the senate will then agree to in conference.
    How does all this profligate spending fit with the 5% POMV? Oil income should be up I realize but we are on the cusp of an inflationary recession caused primarily by massive federal deficit spending. The Permanent Fund will decline in real dollars due to the ongoing stock market stagnation. Where are the budget projections? I thought they were going to start re-funding the CBR? (which they should do above the 5% cap, if they have to, before they crap it all away again). How about the payoff of the oil tax cash credits?

    • Voodoo economics response. This guy just loves big government and the Kenysian Theory that government manipulation (control) brings the greatest good. Please define responsible appropriation(?), and I’ll show you what an oxymoron is. In times of inflationary recession you don’t pour more big government fiat bucks into the economy. If the PF has a huge earnings reserve from higher oil revenue, you want an economic stimulus from the PFD to assist your citizens with essential purchases. Otherwise, you end up with IRRESPONSIBLE appropriations from foolish Democrat spenders. Go back to Economics 101, sir. You are an abject fool.

  3. I couldn’t help but notice that Revak, the undisputed “LIAR OF THE LEGISLATURE”, once again violated his signed pledge to support a full statutory PFD.

    • Affirm. Never will I vote for him again regardless of who is running against him. I held my nose last time I voted for him, but not again. Better to have a devil you know then a devil you don’t.

  4. Sounds like bait and switch to me. You always hear how they will give us what is owed then give us pennies of what we are owed. It seems they keep baiting us with hope that this time will be different then show how they just keep making it worse.
    Just give us the actual percentage they still owe us and what is that amount per Alaskan. Isn’t that amount between 50-60 thousand dollars each if they liquidated the pfd? If they did that then no more arguing or fighting over how much we will get each year.

  5. With all respect to lawmakers who want to provide over $5,000 to all Alaskans, I believe this handout is simply wrong. Our country has been giving massive handouts for most of the past two years and now Alaska is about to do the same.
    Providing free money sounds great, right? But it has some very bad impacts. It disincentives work. It changes the culture of the community of hard working Alaskans to a community of people who expect the government to provide for them.
    Alaskans have always been known for their independence and willingness to work hard to provide for their families.
    We do not have a State income or sales tax. That’s unusual by itself. And now the lawmakers
    ( who are up for re-election ) want to buy votes to stay in office. Almost shameful!

    The freebie has another impact. It only adds to the cause of our runaway inflation. It puts even more money into an economy that is suffering from limited goods and services. That means more money chasing fewer goods and services. That is the definition of inflation. POTUS did that with his legislation that gave people thousands of $ for not working and he continues to do more of the same with his so called build back better efforts.
    Look what that has brought us. Outrageous high gas prices and for most everything else consumers need. Giving free money to all Alaskans simply adds to the problem. And considering that Uncle Sam will get its taxes from this “gift” it means we will be providing more money to the federal govt to do more of the same reckless spending.
    Alaska should not be part of the problem.

    • LOL..

      I have not missed one day of work since this whole PLANdemic started, neither has my wife. So, I have yet to see any of these “handouts” that you speak of. But I sure have been contributing to others!!

      A smart person would save their PFD money for a rainy day if they don’t need it to pay off a bill or two or three. I have never taken a PFD check and ran off to the bank to cash it and then go spend a wad of money at Costco for a new TV, or Cabela’s for a new gun, or AK Mining & Diving for a “toy”. You do yours, I’ll do mine, and others will do theirs.

      If you don’t want it, then quit applying for it!!

    • Statutory PFD. Do you know what that means? Apparently not. If the money is available and the statute says “payout,” then you follow the law. People need the money. Unless you have a full-time union job, or work as a government employee, you are feeling the pinch. This is why the PFD was designed to do. It was not designed to ingratiate politicians who think they understand economics.

    • You obviously must get a paid salary that is pretty hefty? Your pedestal position/stance comes from one who seems to make decisions for others? Sounds like a government employee/dictator mentality who wants all money to stay with the elite.
      Your definition of dividend is not a handout, it is by definition, a reward for being a shareholder. We as Alaskans are shareholders in what the State has interest in and that means it’s wealth too but the snobs in office, act like they are separate and are elite above those not in office.
      What do you do with the pfd you receive? Do you keep it or give it all to charity out of the goodness or distain/pitty in your heart?

    • How long have you been in Alaska? Or are you a wannabe? Cause you are a fool! This is not free money! As a property owner if I find gold in my backyard do I get to keep it? No! I have to call the state to come and get it! Do they do that down in the states? You can bet they don’t! If they find it there, on their property, they keep it. That’s why they don’t get a PFD.

      It is in the constitution that the resources of the state belongs to all Alaskans, we all share in them … that’s where the PFD comes in.

      Instead of wasting your time writing long, misinformed comments, you should do a bit of research first, and save yourself the embarrassment. G’day.

    • Alaskans are shareholders of the states natural wealth. It’s not some socialist freebie that will magically change our work ethic or culture.

        • Jeff, while I’d agree that the pros and cons of the dividend could be debated, it couldn’t be legitimately considered an example of socialism. Please look up the definition of ‘socialism’. – M.John

        • True!

          Just an extension of the Socialist Values Alaska State Constitution which stole property rights. You don’t own the mineral rights under land you supposedly own. They belong to THE STATE. A small bone thrown back to us is a small part of the revenue that comes from our alienated property righhts.

          Now you want to surrender those too?

          There is a law prescribing how dividends are to be paid based on that theft of our rights. Since it’s not being respected by our high-and-mighty leglslators is there any reason to respect any laws?

    • ISER has identified that a significant PFD would be the single best option to stimulate the Alaska economy, one of the worst in the nation. Unlike the federal government’s trillions in ‘stimulus’ spending, the PFD does not come from borrowing or printing money, but from realized investment earnings. Particularly in rural Alaska, this money won’t be chasing too few goods, but necessary goods (fuel, food, utilities) that have grown significantly more expensive.

      • Not a hand out? My daughter’s neighbor moved from the Lower 48 just in time to be eligible for this non- handout. He is married with five children. He was working at a grocery store but is no longer employed. He and his wife receive unemployment benefits and the family will soon receive around
        $40,000 ( a non handout) from the State. Should that be owed to them as a one year resident? All in addition to State and Federal unemployment benefits. He has told me that he may not have to work for a long time because his benefits and non- handouts pay for most of their living expenses. His wife works part time as a sitter.
        Is this a family who should own the part of Alaska’s natural resources developed neatly 50 years ago? After being here only one year?
        This is just one example played out countless times in Alaska where the non -handouts disincentives work and encourages more and more people to come to Alaska for the free money:

        Additionally , please tell me how that the extra $1,200 tacked onto the PFD is not a handout. What is it for? A gift To make up for the increased cost of energy, right? I think that even Mayor Dan who is likely to be seeking your vote again someday might agree that this is truly only a handout.
        The $1,200 is simply a billion dollar freebie to buy votes in the next election.
        And Just consider that this family of seven is entitled to the $40,000 the first year they live here. When word of these non handouts gets out watch out for the flood of new residents claiming their “rightful “share of the PFD pie.

    • The PFD account is different from tax payer money though. If the PFD account allows for such a payment to Alaskans, then that’s what should be paid. The federal stimulus money was our hard earned taxes at work.

    • We sure contributed to these handouts you speak of to the turn of 60K I federal income taxes we paid last year! To top that off we received a whopping $21 dollars in stimulus money. Guess what, we managed to make it to work every single day!

    • The ignorance of this opinion is astounding. It is NOT a “handout” – it is the people’s money, not the governments – and bogus court opinion notwithstanding, it should not have to be appropriated”, but must be paid according to law.

    • Nice try Alaskan’s First, but most of the folks who received your so-called “freebies” during the Covid Plannedemic were the large corporations and public sector employees who milked working from home for months. The rest of working Americans received an insulting pittance from the government that was supposed to ease their economic pain. At least the legislature is attempting to rectify this inequity in Alaska but they will have an uphill battle because those same freeloaders that sucked up the Covid money do not want to share any money with the common peons!

  6. The legislature is spending way too much time debating and analyzing the amount of the PFD. We have the money so just pay out the statutory determined dividend which seemed to work for decades until Beijing Bill messed with it! And then get on with some serious state business.

  7. I see that Slimeball Revak once again voted against the interests of the Alaskan people here. What a liar, hypocrite and swamp creature he is!

  8. The senate decision would be more helpful. 2300 it won’t go far not with the current prices which is not done rising

  9. The legislature is constantly pulling money out of the economy in order to enrich a few and shower money into the coffers of those that support their re election. There are very few that are actually attempting to take care of the business of running the state in a fiscally prudent manner. These PFD checks will do wonders for the economy and will enrich the lives of many low income families. The house is made up of several self aggrandizing and self absorbed individuals that believe they have the right to dictate to the population of Alaska what they should be given, in spite of the formula that was followed since 1986. A budget is how much you have available to spend. The legislature thinks a budget is how much you want to spend, no matter who you have to steal it from.

  10. Republicans Peter Micciche, Click Bishop, Josh Revak, Bert Stedman, Gary Stevens; and Democrats Tom Begich, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Lyman Hoffman, and Jesse Kiehl

    Replace them all.

  11. I had a dream last night I was arguing in favor of the PFD with Louise Stutes. Then I woke up and read the news. I suppose not having the gas to get to work this week without using my credit card was one reason I dreamed this, and I’m trying not to get too hopeful, given how our legislators have voted down good economics for years now, but given these hard times, it’s difficult not to have hope in reading this news.

  12. Where I work at, if I could not process a simple formula I would be fired. If my spending is not accounted for with receipts I get fired. This is what you get when idiots play with invisible money and no accountability.

    • Ah Dave. Don’t forget that if your assigned tasks are not complete within the allotted time period…you’re fired. (Unless of course you would like to complete them for free on your own dime. NO OVERTIME!)

  13. This is not a handout or socialism. This is a profit distribution from extremely large investment owned by Alaskans. On the contrary, the State of Alaska keeping the profits and distributing a small portion to specific areas (typically those with the largest lobby) is closer to socialism.

      • No, you are wrong, Jeff.
        .
        The PFD is essentially a payment that the state government gives us for having robbed us of our individual mineral rights.

      • It’s not for “nothing” – it’s our investment income from the resources owned by the people of Alaska – that’s a capitalistic dividend, not welfare.

  14. If we Alaskans had memories the current crew of lawlesslators would have been voted out nearly five years ago. This time remember how they voted through their whole terms. Not just the pandering they might do in the few months before you have the opportunity to clean them out.

    But history suggests we don’t have memories.

    I pray you prove me wrong.

  15. I heard the dividend was going to be $2500 with an extra $1500 tacked on for energy. At least that’s what the local Juneau News of the North was saying on the radio. Who knows, we’re in the age of disinformation.

  16. This hand out is fine. First, because it is statutory and; second, because it is comparable to receipts illegal recent arrivals receive each month from our social security trust funds and approved in the US everloving annual budget and approved lovingly by our own federal delegation. I know we are ignorant as hell but even we can see we are only getting one twelfth of what Jiden’s and NATO’s unvaccinated illegals are getting from our no account trust funds. I mean really just for parity, equitable comparison purposes.

  17. Click Bishop what a phony and Peter Micciche, another phony Repubicrat. These clowns spend all this money on Government which I despise, because they know how to spend it better than the folks IDIOTS

  18. All that is happening is that various members of both parties are trying their hardest to ward off a constitutional convention and they are willing to bite the bullet this year if that’s what it takes…

  19. I really can’t get to worked up over this issue, I seriously doubt this will pass the house. Will wait in see.

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