May 4, 2021

House Finance denies statutory PFD

The Alaska House Finance Committee on Thursday said no to an amendment that would have…

The Alaska House Finance Committee on Thursday said no to an amendment that would have set the Permanent Fund dividend at about $3,000 this year, honoring the statutory formula. On a vote of 8-3, the amendment by Rep. DeLena Johnson of Palmer was voted down.

“By not paying the full, statutory PFD, it’s allowed us to kick the can down the road,” Johnson said. “With that in mind, this [statutory formula] still is the law.”

Among those voting against following the statutory formula for the dividend calculation was Johnson’s fellow Republican Rep. Sara Rasmussen of District 22, following in the footsteps of her predecessor Jason Grenn, who also voted against a full PFD.

Also opposing were Reps. Andy Josephson, Bart LeBon, Daniel Ortiz, Steve Thompson, Adam Wool, Bryce Edgmon, and Kelly Merrick.

Nikiski Rep. Ben Carpenter, a Republican, and Nome Rep. Neal Foster, a Democrat, voted in favor of it, along with Johnson, the Republican maker of the motion.

The Operating Budget moved from committee and is subject to amendments on the House Floor. A vote on the operating budget is expected this weekend. Capitol observers say they expect more PFD amendments before the final vote on the budget.