House passes $1,605 dividend, HB 2003 heads to Senate
The House approved a $1,605 Permanent Fund dividend on Friday, sending House Bill 2003 to the Senate for further review.
In a brief floor session, the House voted 22-12 for a dividend almost half of what Gov. Mike Dunleavy seeks. The governor has remained firm that the state pay a dividend that aligns with a statutory formula, or about $3,000.
But he has not been able to obtain the support needed — 21 votes in the House and 11 in the Senate. Still, Dunleavy is steadfast in adhering to a decades-old law.
Those favoring a lower dividend, say it falls within a law passed last year that limits how much the Legislature can draw from the fund's earnings. A higher dividend would exceed that limit.
The conflict has played out in floor debates all week, illustrating the divide over which law should be followed.
The dividend debate has been highly charged through a regular session and into a second 30-day special session, underscored by additional calls for restoring some of Dunleavy's $444 million in vetoes.
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