While a number of economists have pushed Alaska lawmakers to bring revenues in line with spending over the past few years, many now agree that setting aside normal fiscal discipline during the pandemic is justified.
Gov. Dunleavy said the vast majority of the money he vetoed will be replaced with funding under the federal CARES Act.
The state wouldn’t have enough money in the Constitutional Budget Reserve to pay the roughly $3,000 PFD using the formula in state law.
Alaska’s legislative leaders say the state’s ability to spend down fund earnings is a political dilemma, at a time when Gov. Mike Dunleavy and some legislators want to pay back the amounts PFDs have been cut.
Lawmakers have proposed changing the dividend formula. And Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he wants to engage in discussions about what the PFD will be in the future. But he says that doesn’t change what Alaskans should receive under the current law.
So far in this legislative session, there are no major proposals being openly debated that would close the budget gap.
After thinking about it for a year, Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he’s not opposed to putting budget cuts to a vote of the people.
The raffle is designed to raise money for K-12 education by allowing Alaskans to donate a portion of their permanent fund dividends to enter.
Permanent fund dividends used to be calculated using a formula set out in a 1982 law. But after oil prices fell five years ago, things changed.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed introducing a state lottery, calling it an “innovative new approach to revenue” for the state.