Legislature(2019 - 2020)

2019-01-16 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2019-01-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 0035
SB 23                                                                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 23 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
      "An Act making special appropriations from the earnings                                                                   
      reserve account for the payment of permanent fund                                                                         
      dividends; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs and Finance                                                           
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 15:                                                                                 
Dear President Giessel:                                                                                                         
Under the authority of Article III, sec 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I                                                       
am transmitting a special appropriations bill that authorizes the                                                               
payment of unpaid dividends, which came as a result of executive and                                                            
legislative action, in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The transfer occurs over                                                           
the next three fiscal years.  The bill also authorizes the transfer for the                                                     
payment of the Permanent Fund Dividend Program for the fiscal years                                                             
ending 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.                                                                                              
The Permanent Fund Dividend program was established in 1980, to                                                                 
allow all Alaskans to benefit directly from Alaska’s mineral and                                                                
investment wealth. For years, the Alaska State Legislature, through a                                                           
carefully balanced statutory formula has assured a dividend payment                                                             
that keeps the Permanent Fund on healthy financial footing, while at                                                            
the same time, benefitting the mineral owners – Alaskans.                                                                       
The past three years, Alaskans have not received the full ownership                                                             
value of their mineral wealth share.  Instead, either through executive                                                         
or legislative action, the dividend payments have been less than the                                                            
statutory formula directs. I intend to follow the law and take                                                                  
restorative action to the unpaid portions of the permanent fund                                                                 
dividends from 2016, 2017, and 2018 to eligible individuals.                                                                    
Also, in order to restore the trust of Alaskans, I am seeking the                                                               
authorization for the next four fiscal years for the transfer of funds and                                                      
the payment of dividends per the statutory formula that has been used                                                           

2019-01-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 0036
since the first dividend check was issued in 1982.  This is a clear                                                             
signal to Alaskans that we will not pick and choose which laws to                                                               
follow. We will honor the law and will fund the dividend program as                                                             
the law is written.                                                                                                             
As the State of Alaska is coming to terms with balancing revenue with                                                           
expenditures in our annual budgets, I want Alaskans to know that we                                                             
are not going to deny them their ownership share of Alaska’s mineral                                                            
wealth. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                
Michael J. Dunleavy