Finance committee considers funding budget with Permanent Fund earnings
Two proposals for using Permanent Fund earnings to get the state budget on track have made their way to the Senate Finance Committee.
Gov. Walker’s plan to separate the budget from falling oil prices has made strides in the Senate. His proposal to use the Permanent Fund’s earnings to fund government, Senate Bill 128, and a similar bill sponsored by Sen. Lesil McGuire, Senate Bill 114, are working through their final committee in the Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee heard an amended version of McGuire’s bill Tuesday morning. It guarantees a $1,000 dividend and places a limit on how much the state can draw from the Permanent Fund’s earnings reserve based on oil revenue.
“For oil revenue over a billion dollars, there’s a corresponding reduction in the percentage of market value draw,” said Sen. McGuire. “The principle behind it is that it improves the sustainability of pay-outs from the earnings reserve account.”
McGuire says setting spending caps on those draws is important in gaining the public’s trust.
“I think in order for the public to really have faith and trust in their Legislature as we begin to materially change these things like this Permanent Fund, we’ve got to let them know that should oil prices rebound in the future, should some of these excellent proposals in the Brooks Range, Moose’s Tooth, Point Thompson, come into fruition — I believe they will — that we will protect them,” Sen. McGuire told members of the Senate Finance Committee.
The Senate Finance Committee will hear public testimony on SB 114 and SB 128 Wednesday.
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