JUNEAU — A Fairbanks senator today filed a proposal to increase Alaskans' Permanent Fund Dividend checks to help residents cover high energy costs.
The bill, from Sen. Joe Thomas, would need to clear public scrutiny and could apply, at the earliest, to next year's dividend check.
The Legislature approved an energy rebate in 2008, when oil prices spiked to an all-time high monthly average of almost $134 in June.
Thomas' bill suggests the size of each rebate would be determined by a formula that included three factors: The local price of heating oil, the length of winter in a given resident's community and a base amount of $200. Thomas' office suggested a Fairbanks resident paying $4 per gallon for heating fuel might expect a rebate of $333 under the plan, which it said would surely change shape over the coming months.
Senate President Gary Stevens referred the measure, Senate Bill 133, to his chamber's Resources Committee, which is led in part by Sen. Joe Paskvan, D-Fairbanks, and its Finance Committee.