Governor Dunleavy Calls Upon Legislature to Prioritize PFD, Savings and People First Initiative Bills
May 02, 2022
“I ask the Legislature to pay every eligible resident a PFD this year of at least $3,700,” said Governor Dunleavy. “We have this tremendous opportunity to provide a 50/50 PFD while having enough to place into savings. The more money in the hands of Alaskans, the better it will be for everyone. These are dire times for Alaskans who are paying at the pump while the government benefits from high oil prices. We need to be putting the money back in our constituents’ pockets.”
In March, Governor Dunleavy reported a projected $3.4 billion increase to the Spring 2022 Revenue Forecast over this year and the next. According to the Alaska Department of Revenue, the forecast is consistent, and the State is still projecting a multibillion-dollar surplus for 2022 and 2023.
In addition to the PFD, the administration’s priority is to rebuild savings with the surpluses in the range of $11 billion over 10 years, based on a conservative forecast of $70 plus per barrel to 2031.
According to estimates from Bloomberg Economics, the average American household can expect to pay an extra $5,200 this year – $433 per month – compared to last year due to inflation rising at a historic rate during the Biden Administration. The economic policies put in place by the Biden Administration are hitting low-income Alaskans the hardest, where they do not have a cushion of savings to protect them from rising prices.
Governor Dunleavy added, “We have the resources we need to make this PFD happen, so we wait on the Legislature to make their decision. Rural Alaska is going to see, potentially, $17/gallon of oil in some places. Alaskans should benefit from the State’s resources.”
The Alaska House is proposing a PFD of $1,200 and $1,300 to address high fuel costs. On April 21st, the Alaska Senate Finance Committee passed legislation to change the PFD formula. Senate Bill 199 would change the PFD formula to align with a 50/50 split of the annual POMV draw.
With just over two weeks left in this session, the pressure to finish business is at full speed. In the House, members are working on addressing the Capital Budget and members of the Senate are seeking to address the operating budget.
In this session, Governor Dunleavy has also addressed sex trafficking, sex offenses and victim protection with Senate Bills 189, 187 and 188. The bills are part of his People First Initiative, which includes five major intersecting topics: Domestic violence and sexual assault, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons, human/sex trafficking, foster care and homelessness
“April [was] Sexual Assault Awareness Month, [last] week [was] National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and [last Thursday] was Denim Day,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Sexual assault awareness should not only matter during one month of the year. I call upon the Legislature to act on my administration’s People First Initiative bills - modernizing the definition of consent and protecting Alaskans from sexual assault. These are common-sense reforms to close loopholes, increase penalties for perpetrators, and improve our system to protect victims’ rights. Alaskans deserve to feel heard and safe in their communities. We will see a change happen in Alaska, but there’s still more work to be done, and it’s up to the Legislature to decide.”
Edited By: Mary Kauffman, SitNews