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Sun Apr 25, 2021, 04:13 PM

Hopes dim in Alaska Legislature for a Permanent Fund sustainability fix this year

JUNEAU — Alaska lawmakers began the 32nd Alaska Legislature with plans to create a sustainable plan to manage the Alaska Permanent Fund and pay an annual dividend.

But now, for a fifth consecutive year, lawmakers are preparing to set the dividend by fiat. There will be no permanent fix to a problem that has dominated the state’s budget discussion since 2016, top officials say.

“I don’t see it happening this session. There’s not enough time, and it’s going to be very difficult next year, during an election year, to do it,” said Rep. Bryce Edgmon, an independent lawmaker from Dillingham who is one of the top members of the House majority.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and some Democratic lawmakers have proposed constitutional amendments that call for new approaches to handling the Permanent Fund and the dividend. In the past month, three of those have gained some momentum, but none appear likely to pass the Legislature before May 19, when lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn the regular session.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2021/04/23/hopes-dim-in-alaska-legislature-for-a-permanent-fund-sustainability-fix-this-year/
(Anchorage Daily News)

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