Protect The Permanent Fund Dividend
February 06, 2004
"Many Alaskan families depend on that annual income from the dividend," said Senator Ogan. "Others are providing a college education for their children by putting half of their dividend into the Advance College Tuition program."
The Constitution protects the principal of the Permanent Fund. However, each year, dividends, inflation-proofing and unspent earnings are at the whim of each legislature. Ogan said, "Many Alaskans think that a vote of the people is required before changes can be made to the dividend program. This will only be true when the dividend is protected by the Constitution."
Senator Green stated that once Alaskans feel confident the dividend program is safe and the integrity of the Permanent Fund is safe, then we can begin the discussion about what to do with any excess earnings. "I introduced legislation seven years ago to protect the dividend, and reintroduced it four years ago. It was a good idea then and it is more important now," said Green.
"Royalties from the subsurface mineral estate endow the Permanent Fund. Alaska subsurface mineral rights are, in general, collectively owned by the state instead of by the individual landowners. By constitutionally protecting the dividend, we recognize compensation for the mineral estate most Alaskans do not receive if they own the land," Ogan explained.
Senator Wagoner commented,
"My constituents sent the message loud and clear in 1999
and in my opinion, they haven't changed their minds; they are
adamant about protecting the dividend."
Source of News Release: