Legislature(2001 - 2002)

2001-07-20 Senate Journal

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2001-07-20                     Senate Journal                      Page 1881
SB 193                                                                                            
Message dated and received July 7, stating:                                                         
Dear President Halford:                                                                             
Under the authority of art. II, sec. 15 of the Alaska Constitution, I have                          
vetoed the following bill:                                                                          
           CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 193(FIN) "An Act                                                  
           making a special appropriation to the Alaska                                             
           Legislative Council for a study of the economic and                                      
           social effects of the permanent fund dividend on the                                     
           state; and providing for an effective date."                                             
Alaska's Permanent Fund dividend program is a unique opportunity                                    
for Alaskans to directly benefit from the resource wealth of our state.                             
It plays a significant role in the Alaska economy, comprising a                                     
significant portion of the income of the average Alaska family and                                  
creating more than an estimated 8,000 Alaska jobs. The Permanent                                    
Fund also has helped motivate Alaskans to participate in public policy                              
issues regarding state fiscal issues. Throughout my administration, I                               
have insisted that any significant changes in this popular program must                             
include a vote of the people. Likewise, I believe that any uses of                                  
Permanent Fund earnings must meet the highest standards of public                                   
The study contemplated in this special appropriation bill does not                                  
further the interests of the Permanent Fund, the dividend program, or                               
the financial health of the state. It would use $200,000 of Permanent                               
Fund income to analyze the economic and social impacts of the                                       
dividend program. A legislative study of this sort is unnecessary. We                               
already know Alaska families use their dividends in a variety of ways                               
and I trust those families to make use of this income in the manner that                            

2001-07-20                     Senate Journal                      Page 1882
best suits their needs. I am comfortable that the State of Alaska                                   
currently has the information it needs on the impact of the dividend                                
program without spending an additional $200,000.                                                    
Among other social and economic issues, the study also would                                        
examine the possibility of changing the dividend residency eligibility                              
requirements. State and federal courts have already addressed these                                 
eligibility issues in many widely publicized decisions. Further analysis                            
of these issues is not likely to change court decisions, but could                                  
generate unnecessary uncertainty among current dividend recipients.                                 
I do not support any alleged study such as this that could be used as a                             
reason to divert Permanent Fund dividends to purposes other than                                    
distribution to the Alaska public. Therefore, I must veto this bill.                                
       Tony Knowles