Alaska Supreme Court upholds PFD cuts

The Alaska Supreme Court hears arguments in the Boney Courthouse in Anchorage on June 20, 2017, in a case that seeks to overturn Gov. Bill Walker's veto of about half of Alaska Permanent Fund dividend money last year. Pictured from left to right: Justices Joel Bolger, Daniel Winfree, Craig Stowers, Peter Maassen and Susan Carney.
The Alaska Supreme Court hears arguments in the Boney Courthouse in Anchorage on June 20, in a case that seeks to overturn Gov. Bill Walker’s veto of about half of Alaska Permanent Fund dividend money last year. Pictured from left to right: Justices Joel Bolger, Daniel Winfree, Craig Stowers, Peter Maassen and Susan Carney. The court upheld a lower court opinion upholding the veto. (Photo by Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

On Friday, The Alaska Supreme Court upheld Gov. Bill Walker’s veto that halved Permanent Fund dividends last year.

Justice Daniel Winfree wrote that the state law that started PFDs is subject to the Alaska Constitution’s ban on dedicating funds for specific purposes.

Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski and former Sens. Clem Tillion and Rick Halford had argued that the constitutional amendment that started the Permanent Fund gave the Legislature the ability to dedicate uses for fund earnings, like the PFD.

Walker’s veto last year cut dividends from $2,052 to $1,022. This year, the Legislature reduced PFDs from about $2,300 to $1,100.

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