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Sun Jun 9, 2019, 07:53 AM

Alaska lawmakers advance compromise budget for final shutdown-averting votes

JUNEAU — Seeking to avoid a statewide government shutdown on July 1, negotiators in the Alaska House and Senate are advancing a compromise budget proposal toward final votes in the next couple of days. The budget contains about $170 million in cuts from the current year’s budget but is higher than proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy in February.

The compromise doesn’t mention the Permanent Fund dividend, which will be addressed in separate legislation. The amount of this year’s dividend remains undecided because of disagreement among the governor and the leaders of the House and Senate.

“The position is not a zero dividend. It is technically not being addressed in this budget at all,” said Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka and one of the lead Senate negotiators. “My personal opinion is that the Legislature will be paying a dividend in October of this year.”

Saturday’s agreement does include a transfer of about $10.5 billion from the unprotected portion of the Alaska Permanent Fund into the constitutionally protected corpus. That figure includes $1.1 billion in inflation-proofing payments plus a $9.4 billion transfer.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2019/06/09/alaska-lawmakers-advance-compromise-budget-for-final-shutdown-averting-votes/

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