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ALASKA, US: State senator prepares bill to restore full amount of 2016 PFD

At a press conference on Wednesday, October 5, Alaska state senator Mike Dunleavy (Republican) announced plans to introduce legislation to restore the 2016 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) amount to $2052, the full amount calculated by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. Earlier in the year, Governor Bill Walker vetoed over half of the state legislature’s appropriation of funds to the PFD, resulting in an amount of $1022 per Alaska resident.  

Alaskan residents have joined in protest of the cuts in the PFD. More than 15,000 individuals have joined the Facebook group “Alaskans Against Gov. Walker’s PFD Theft”, which organized a protest at an Anchorage budget forum held on Saturday, October 1.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit by Democratic state senator Bill Wielechowski — which charges that Walker’s veto was illegal — is awaiting resolution. In response to a request for an expedited review, arguments have been set for November 17 in Anchorage.

As a universal and unconditional cash transfer, paid annually to all residents of Alaska, the PFD is frequently cited as an example of a “real world” universal basic income. It continues to be presented as a model for UBI policies by groups ranging from the Movement for Black Lives in the United States to the Goenchi Mati Movement in the Indian state of Goa.

References and further information:

Nathaniel Herz (October 6, 2016) “Alaska lawmaker stokes Permanent Fund fight with push to add $1,000 to dividends” Alaska Dispatch News.

Paula Dobbyn (October 5, 2016) “State senator prepares bill to restore full amount of 2016 Permanent Fund dividend” KTUU.

Travis Khachatoorian (September 30, 2016) “With reduced PFDs on the way, protests expected at budget forum” KTUU.

Reviewed by Genevieve Shanahan

Photo: Juneau Morning, CC BY-NC 2.0 Dale Musselman

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. (I have always chosen to remain in the precariat for this reason: my sense of duty is strong enough that I’d risk imperiling my own self-development if I were to accept a permanent position.) If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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