Alaska House committee gets blowback to dividend proposal

Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – House lawmakers heard angry reactions to a bill that would pay residents a full Alaska Permanent Fund dividend this year but seek to change the dividend formula going forward.

The dividend traditionally has been paid with permanent fund earnings. The bill would use fund earnings and money from savings this year.

The House Finance Committee bill is seen as an attempt to break a legislative logjam. Disagreements over the dividend have snarled efforts to finalize a state budget.

The bill makes a full dividend this year contingent upon passage of legislation that would change the dividend formula. Committee Co-chair Tammie Wilson says she’s open to discussion on a future formula.

There was little discussion on the bill’s mechanics Thursday before the committee took testimony that included strong opposition.