Because the state government has a $4 billion deficit, some lawmakers have suggested drawing money from the fund to pay for other state costs.
Progress on the state government budget has slowed to a crawl this week, but Gov. Bill Walker remains hopeful the Legislature will reach an agreement on an oil and gas tax bill that’s at the center of budget talks.
Legislative leaders have been looking for ways to reduce the state budget as they weigh cuts to Permanent Fund dividends and oil and gas tax credits.
It became clear that the largest stumbling block is how much and how quickly to scale back tax credits for the oil and gas industry.
A joint session of both houses voted 31-27 to confirm Hopkins to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation board.
The Rasmuson Foundation commissioned the report. Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan said the report gives the legislature and the governor a chance to reflect on how their actions will affect different groups.
The conference committee voted five to one to adopt the House version of the university budget, which cuts $35 million more than the $15 million cut proposed by Governor Bill Walker.
The debate reveals a deep divide among lawmakers over how to respond to low oil prices – and the resulting state budget gap.
Dividend checks would be $1,000 for the next three years, and similar amounts after that. The governor has said that without changes to current law, the checks could disappear in as little as three years.
The concept arose from a concern over Senate Bill 210, which would reduce the amount that municipalities receive in revenue sharing.