SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Solution to energy rebate problem sought
PFD link could cut off many Alaskans


August 13, 2008

Several Democratic legislators have asked Attorney General Talis Colberg to remedy a situation that would deny many qualifying Alaskans from receiving this year's energy rebate. Because the rebates are tied to the Permanent Fund Dividend program, many Alaskans who qualified for 2008 PFDs, but did not apply will also be cut out of the energy rebate program.
Reps Berta Gardner and Bob Buch (D-Anchorage), Andrea Doll (D-Juneau) and Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) sent a letter to Colberg urging him to create an application form for Alaskans who qualify but are not included in the rebate.
Gardner introduced an amendment to remedy the problem during the recent special, but it was defeated on a party-line vote.
"I understand the administrative cost savings of tying the energy rebate to the PFD, but this unintended consequence is going to hurt many Alaskan families," Gardner said. "We can easily fix it, and we should."
The letter simply asks the AG to prepare an application form allowing Alaskans who otherwise qualify for the PFD, and who missed the PFD application deadline this past year, to at least have a chance to apply for the $1,200 rebate.
"This is easy, and it makes sense," Buch said. "There are a number of reasons people may not have applied for a PFD, and denying them this benefit on a technicality is simply unfair ­ it's un-Alaskan."
"It's my intention that every Alaskan who qualifies for an energy rebate receives one," Kawasaki said. "This winter is going to be cold for every Alaskan family, whether they applied for their PFDs or not, and this rebate is supposed to make it a little more bearable for all Alaskans."
"These rebates are intended to help Alaskan families," Doll said. "We can't allow a bureaucratic glitch to make the process unfair. It just doesn't make sense to disqualify people from one program simply because they chose not to participate in another."


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Alaska Legislature


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska