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Alaska Legislature passes budget that would pay residents this year approximately $3,200

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:50 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaskans will receive around $3200 in payments this year following a vote of the Alaska Legislature approving a spending package for the state.

The Associated Press reports, “A tentative budget agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators called for a Permanent Fund Dividend from the earnings of the state’s oil-wealth fund of about $2,500 this year, plus a $1,300 energy relief check.”

“The proposal called for half the funding for the energy checks to come from a budget account that requires three-fourths support in both the House and Senate for it to be tapped,” AP wrote.

The Senate successfully passed that amount. However, needing 30 votes to pass the House, the funding source failed 29 to 11.

The final ‘nay’ vote came from Grier Hopkins, District 4 of Fairbanks.

The Interior Legislator explained the reasons behind his vote. “A lot of factors led to the decision. One big one was certainly the volatility of oil and the impacts of international market on Alaska, making sure that we protect our future. But I also have a strong, fiscally responsible record for the last four years of making sure we don’t set ourselves up and protect against raids on the Permanent Fund Dividend. So I felt it was consistent with the way I’ve been for the last four years and making sure Alaska is on good footing going into the future.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy held a press conference reacting to the Legislative Session.

“It’s a very chaotic process, a very chaotic process. On a good day it’s chaotic. On a bad day it’s really chaotic. It was designed, to a great degree, to function the way we see it functioning. I don’t want to make it sound like we’re all crazy, but it’s not supposed to be easy and it certainly wasn’t easy. I want to thank the members of the leadership that I could see we’re working together and trying to get things across the finish line.”

While disappointed with the $3,300 payment, the governor was happy to see a number of his initiatives passed, including the “The Alaska Reads Act” and a few bills addressing sexual violence.

The budget now heads to the governor’s office, which will look through it for potential line-item vetoes.

From the official transmittal, Dunleavy has 20 days, not including Sundays, to submit his changes.

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