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