The Alaska Permanent Fund has been like a golden goose for the state. Over the years, it’s paid out nearly $22 billion in dividends and grown to about $65 billion.

This year, the dividend program is at a historic crossroads. For the first time, the state must tap the earnings of the fund – to cover a massive budget deficit.

Ever since the price of oil crashed in 2014, the state has drawn down its main savings account, the Constitutional Budget Reserve and now has nowhere else to turn.

For more than three decades, the dividend was doled out based on a formula tied to the profits of the Permanent Fund.

But since 2016, the governor and the legislature have capped the dividend. The remaining cash was held in the fund’s earnings reserve account where some of it will likely be used to close this year’s budget gap, somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion.

This Sunday on Frontiers, KTVA’s Rhonda McBride looks at the impact of this new practice on the Permanent Fund’s bottom line – and how it’s shaken the confidence of even some of the youngest Alaskans.

Here’s a preview.

This week’s Frontiers program, “Future of the Fund” airs on Sunday, April 22 at 4:30 and 10:30 p.m. on KTVA-Channel 11. You can also see Frontiers at 8:30 a.m. on GCI Cable Channel 907.

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