Senate takes public testimony on Walker’s Permanent Fund bill

Gov. Bill Walker - Special Session 2015
Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to fund state operations with Permanent Fund earnings is up for public comment before the Senate State Affairs Committee. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Alaskans get their first chance today to tell legislators what they think of the centerpiece of Gov. Bill Walker’s fiscal plan for the state.

The Senate State Affairs Committee will begin hearing public testimony at 5:30 p.m. on Senate Bill 128. It would direct $3.3 billion annually in Alaska Permanent Fund earnings and other state funds to the state budget.

It also would change the source of annual dividends from the Permanent Fund to oil royalties.

The bill requires dividends to be at least $1,000 this year. Dividends could be lower in future years.

An aide said the committee has received more than 100 emails on the subject.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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