A Senate panel on Tuesday will take public testimony on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposal to back pay reduced Permanent Fund dividend payouts from each of the last three years.

The Senate State Affairs Committee will hold its second, two-hour public comment periods on Senate Bills 23 and 24. The hearing begins at 6 p.m.

The bills propose a staggered payment plan as a way to restore funds not paid under the statutory formula. Dunleavy rolled out the plan for back pay  in January by introducing bills that propose paying back more than $3,600.

His plan calls for the following payment schedule:

•     $1,061 from 2016 to be paid this year to all who received a dividend three years ago and remain eligible this year.
•     $1,289 from 2017 to those who received a dividend two years ago and will be eligible in 2020.
•     $1,328 from 2018 to Alaskans who received a dividend last year and will be eligible in 2021.

Former Gov. Bill Walker reduced the 2016 payout with a veto; each of the next two years the Legislature reduced the sum from the statutory formula.

Those not living in Juneau can submit written comments. Committee Chair Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, said on his office’s Facebook page that nearly 400 people have already filed written statements.

 

Both bills have two committee referrals. Should they pass out of State Affairs, the next step would be on to the Senate Finance Committee for additional review.

House Bills 46 and 47 — the companion bills to SB 23 and 24 — must get through the same committees on the House side, plus the House Judiciary Committee.

People who cannot attend Tuesday night’s hearing or who live outside of Juneau can also call in to testify. Testimony is limited to one minute per person.

Shower’s office provided three call-in numbers for those living in the following areas:

Juneau - 586-9085
Anchorage - 563-9085
Statewide toll-free - 844-586-9085

Shower said that he will carve out more time on Thursday evening for additional testimony if necessary.

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