JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A vote to fund a full Alaska Permanent Fund dividend has splintered Alaska’s House.
Speaker Bryce Edgmon says he lacks the votes to advance any version of a state operating budget.
During budget debate Monday, the House narrowly approved an amendment to follow a dividend calculation formula that’s been ignored the last two years, proposing a dividend of about $2,650 this year.
The vote halted further budget deliberations, with lawmakers split over how the ultimate package should look.
Lawmakers from both parties who supported the full dividend saw it as fair, saying Alaskans shouldn’t be the only ones pitching in as the state grapples with a budget deficit. Others called the vote fiscally reckless.
The dividend has been capped the last two years amid legislative gridlock on a fiscal plan.