Solution to energy rebate
PFD link could cut off many
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 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
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