At what point …?

At what point will the people of Alaska have had enough of a Legislature that cannot be bothered to follow the law?

The Alaska House Finance Committee voted down a $3,000 dividend for this year. That amount would have followed the statutory formula for calculating the dividend, established in 1982.

The 1982 statute laying out how the annual dividend is to be calculated is clear. Half the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve is to be set aside for dividends. Former Gov. Bill Walker ignored the law and the calculation, as have legislatures in the past few years. The result? Alaskans have gotten about the half the dividend amount they should have.

The Finance Committee vote was 8-3 to dump Rep. DeLena Johnson’s amendment to the operating budget that would have allowed the $3,000 payment.

Those who voted against the $3,000 dividend – to ignore the law and retain the money for government – included Reps. Sara Rasmussen, Andy Josephson, Bart LeBon, Daniel Ortiz, Steve Thompson, Adam Wool, Bryce Edgmon and Kelly Merrick.

Nikiski Rep. Ben Carpenter, a Republican, and Nome Rep. Neal Foster, a Democrat, were “yes” votes, as was Johnson.

Lawmakers have ignored the statutory formula in recent years to do as they wish, increasing the government’s take, while cutting Alaskans’ share. The politicians have only one problem: The 1982 law – and the PFD calculation – still stands. It’s the law.

At what point will the people of Alaska have had enough of a Legislature that cannot be bothered to follow the law?

4 Responses to At what point …?

  1. RevBill May 2, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Time to prosecute. Alaskans need a leader to file the criminal cases and must be prepared to pay for that prosecution. Yes, it might cost many an entire year’s PFD dividend but would ensure a proper one in future years for them and their children, grandchildren, etc. until the lawlesslature thinks it’s safe to steal again. They’ll pay for their crimes in the next life but they won’t stop until they have paid dearly in this one.

  2. R-Dubya May 2, 2021 at 5:44 am

    The only way to rectify this travesty is at the ballot box. However, ordinary citizens rarely even pay any attention to current events, local issues, and.or even care to exercise their civic duty responsibly.
    The fact of the matter is the good folks of Alaska, that do actually care and can make a difference, are outnumbered by those who’re either don’t care or too stupid, most likely both.
    Don’t expect anything to change until the Republicans can produce quality candidates as well as get overwhelming numbers to the polls to cast votes.

  3. AK Fish May 1, 2021 at 9:44 am

    They got a $1,000,000,000 windfall from Uncle Sam and it should be distributed to those that qualify for a PFD = $1,408 if it costs $355,000,000 for $500 dividend being offered as a pittance to the public. However, they know better on how to spend money than we do (in their minds) and wouldn’t want us to have that money or the statutory amount as a permanent fund dividend this year.

  4. EagleOneAK May 1, 2021 at 8:43 am

    If this is the law, which it appears to be, then a good attorney reading this article or a good number of us that feel the same way should write our representatives to file a motion to have those that voted not to uphold the law removed from office for violation of the oath that they swore to “uphold the law” when they were seated in the legislature.

    Surely, there is some way to prove a violation of the oath of office for those that continually defy the laws of this state with their vote?

    The PFD belongs to the people of this state, not the government to use for paying pork barrel projects and excessive per diem for extended legislative sessions because the democrats that voted against the law can fill their pockets by purposely delaying any positive progress by the legislature.

    Yes, legislators, the people of this state are fed up with your greed and defiance of the law. Don’t think we aren’t paying attention.


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