Alaska Senate rolls out bill to address state’s $3B budget deficit
On day 39 of the legislative session, the Alaska Senate Finance Committee rolled out its plan to solve the state’s $3 billion budget shortfall. The measure bundles proposals to use the Alaska Permanent Fund’s earnings with a tighter cap on state spending into one measure.
Senate Bill 70, introduced Friday morning, calls for a $4.1 billion cap on the state’s budget, and would result in Permanent Fund dividend payouts of $1,000 for the next three years. It also draws 5.25 percent of the Permanent Fund’s market value from the earnings reserve to pay for the state’s annual budget for the next three years, dropping to 5 percent after that.
The proposal mirrors a provision in Senate Bill 128, passed by the Senate last year, that includes a mechanism to reduce the draw on earnings when state oil revenue rises.
The plan is similar to several others under consideration by the legislature that use the Permanent Fund’s earnings as an annual source for the state budget.
Here’s how four Permanent Fund proposals in the legislature would affect the size of each Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividend check next year:
- Senate Bill 26, proposed by Gov. Bill Walker – $1,000
- Senate Bill 21, proposed by Sen. Bert Stedman – $1,600 to $1,700
- House Bill 115, proposed by House Finance Committee – $1,100
- Senate Bill 70, proposed by Senate Finance Committee – $1,000
Senate Bill 70 has been referred to the Finance Committee, a first hearing has been scheduled for Monday.
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