Alaska House rescinds vote for $2,700 PFD checks
The state House on Friday has rescinded its narrow approval to issue a $2,700 Permanent Fund dividend this year.
This sum has held up budget negotiations within the House majority since the 21-19 approval took place Monday.
The House overturned its initial vote, 21-14 with five representatives not present.
Representatives had settled on setting the dividend at $1,600 by midday Friday, with further debate slated after lunch, but the House ultimately adjourned until 11 a.m. Monday without setting a budget.
The decision comes as Alaskans flood Permanent Fund dividend offices Friday, a day before the final March 31 deadline to file for this year’s checks.
The $2,700 is more than twice what Gov. Bill Walker proposed in his budget.
It would have added $892 million to the budget, pushing the appropriation to $1.7 billion.
The dividend has been politically difficult for several years while the Legislature works to close a budget gap currently at $2.3 billion.
Two years ago Walker cut the dividend to $1,022, setting aside a formula that would have paid out nearly twice that -- and he’s still having to answer for it.
Last year the Legislature followed suit and an approved $1,100 dividend, which Walker upheld.
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