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Bipartisan Group Rejects House's PFD Bill, Says There Was No Compromise


July 28, 2019
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Members of the Alaska House Majority passed HB 2003 Friday morning by a vote of 22 to 12, stating its intention to pay a Permanent Fund in the amount of $1,336, effectively changing the formula to a 70/30 split, favoring more funds for government programs according to those rejecting the legislation. Six members were excused.

The Alaska House Republicans were joined by Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) and Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage) in rejecting this piece of legislation. 

“Even after negotiating through the week to try and find common ground with the Majority, we still find ourselves at an impasse on a number of issues,” said Rep. Cathy Tilton (R-Chugiak/Mat-Su), Republican Finance Leader.

Tilton said, “You can’t just label something as a compromise without consent of the other negotiating party. We certainly would not agree that violating the statute is, in any way, an acceptable compromise.”

“You’re either following the law or you are not. There is no middle ground on that point,” said Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole). “This wasn’t a compromise bill at all. This was the Majority realizing that the public would not accept a $929 dividend, as they originally planned to do, and trying to leverage the PFD to avoid budget reductions. I hope our colleagues in the other body will reconsider their position on this issue before we run out of time.”

“Alaskans are not asking for a welfare handout, as seen in HB 2003, but for their share of the resource wealth as defined in the statutory formula,” added Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer). “This bill is a slap in the face to every Alaskan and harms those who need it the most.”

HB 2003 was referred to Senate finance Saturday, July 27, 2019. The next sessions are scheduled to resume Monday morning.

Senator Bill Wielechowski wrote on FaceBook yesterday, "The Senate Finance Committee just passed a compromise bipartisan operating budget that restores about 75% of Governor Dunleavy's vetoes and includes a full statutory $3,000 PFD. There are still total cuts of about $400 million to the budget. Senior Benefits, University funding, Medicaid and Power Cost Equalization have been largely restored. The bill now goes to the full Senate floor, probably on Monday."


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Legislature


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