(Juneau, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy Monday urged legislative action to guarantee the future of the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), Permanent Fund, and Power Cost Equalization Endowment Fund (PCE) as the legislature convenes for the third special session of the year.
The governor’s proposal, HJR 7 and SJR 6, would protect the funds within the state’s constitution and ensure a fair and equitable annual PFD, and further serves as a plan to end the politicization of the funds. Also before the legislature for consideration is Governor Dunleavy’s proposed constitutional amendment to establish a state spending cap (HJR 6, SJR 5).
“We cannot continue to put the future of the Permanent Fund, PFD, and PCE on the backburner,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Alaskans need surety when it comes to their government’s actions with their resource wealth, and it is irresponsible to push the issue further down the road.”
The legislature narrowly passed the Fiscal Year 2022 budget at the end of June and included an arbitrary PFD amount of $525. Governor Dunleavy swiftly signed the budget to avoid a government shutdown, and vetoed the PFD appropriation. Following action on the PFD policy in this special session, the governor will issue an appropriations bill to fund this year’s PFD as well as the CBR reverse sweep funding which includes the WWAMI scholarship.
“Alaskans are searching for stable footing following the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19, and a $525 PFD was a distraction from everything else that needs to be resolved,” said Governor Dunleavy. “With the Permanent Fund at more than $82 billion, now is the time to help our fellow Alaskans – why not use it to avoid harming any sector of our state or the people of Alaska who are struggling? Cash is the ultimate program, and cash in the form of the Permanent Fund Dividend that’s been around for several decades is really the answer to helping Alaskans and our private economy.”