Legislature(2019 - 2020)

2019-01-16 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2019-01-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 0036
SB 24                                                                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 24 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
              "An Act directing the Department of Revenue to pay                                                               
                dividends to certain eligible individuals; and                                                                 
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs and Finance                                                           
The following fiscal information was published today:                                                                           
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Revenue                                                                                       
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 15:                                                                                 
Dear President Giessel:                                                                                                         
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill that directs the payment of the                                                          
unpaid amounts of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Permanent Fund                                                                       
dividend. The payment of the unpaid amounts would be distributed to                                                             
eligible individuals over the next three years. I believe that this action                                                      
will correct an error that resulted in a decreased dividend.                                                                    

2019-01-16                     Senate Journal                      Page 0037
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 themselves.                                                             
The past three years, Alaskans have not received the full value of their                                                        
mineral wealth ownership 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 pay the unpaid portions of the Permanent Fund                                                             
dividends from 2016, 2017, and 2018 for all eligible individuals.                                                               
Eligible individuals will be determined by the receipt of a prior year’s                                                        
dividend and the eligibility for a current year’s dividend. An                                                                  
individual eligible for the 2016 unpaid dividend is a person who                                                                
received the 2016 dividend and is eligible for a 2019 dividend; an                                                              
individual eligible for the 2017 unpaid dividend is a person who                                                                
received a 2017 dividend and is eligible for a 2020 dividend; and an                                                            
individual eligible for the 2018 unpaid dividend is a person who                                                                
received a 2018 dividend and is eligible for a dividend in 2021.                                                                
As our economy faces a recession, and our unemployment rate is one                                                              
of the highest in the nation, the payment of the unpaid amounts of the                                                          
2016, 2017, and 2018 dividends, distributed over the next three years,                                                          
can significantly contribute to improving Alaska’s economy. It will                                                             
restore the trust of Alaskans that we will follow the law and the                                                               
statutory formula that has been used since the first dividend check was                                                         
issued in 1982. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this                                                                 
Michael J. Dunleavy