Alaska lawmakers passed a budget that includes a $3,200 permanent fund dividend for residents but does not include energy relief checks.
The House of Representatives did not get a two-thirds majority to agree to the energy relief checks that would have given residents another $650, according to Trey Watson, communications director for the Alaska House Republican Caucus.
The PFD was a significant point of contention between the two governing bodies. The Senate proposed a $5,500 PFD while the House proposed lower amounts. A budget conference committee recommended a $2,500 PFD and a $1,300 energy relief check but the proposal was shot down in the House.
The payout program has been a source of contention for Gov. Mike Dunleavy and lawmakers during the session.
“Although not a statutory PFD, $3,200 was agreed upon by the Legislature making it the largest PFD to date,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “This PFD, for a family of four, equates to $12,800 which should assist significantly with battling high rates of inflation.”
Dunleavy did not indicate whether he would sign the budget bill.
“While the budget accomplishes many of my priorities, I will closely examine the overall level of spending in the FY23 budget to determine where money can be saved to preserve as much of the windfall from high oil prices as possible,” Dunleavy said.
The governor praised other initiatives passed by lawmakers during the session, including a $2.5 million allocation to the Alaska Department of Law. The money would be used to defend the state against lawsuits filed by the Biden administration, according to the governor.
“The Biden Administration has taken unprecedented moves to shut down Alaska’s resource-based economy,” Dunleavy said. “Alaska must do everything it can to defend the State’s rights to sustainably manage Alaska’s vast and abundant resources as promised at statehood to ensure that subsistence lifestyles are maintained into the future.”
This article was originally posted on Alaska budget includes $3,200 PFD payouts