May 12, 2021 (Juneau, AK) – Today Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy proposed revisions to strengthen his Permanent Fund constitutional amendment (SJR 6) that builds a sustainable fiscal future for all Alaskans and guarantees an annual dividend to all Alaskans now and in the future. If passed by the Alaska Legislature, Alaskans will have the final word on the most significant policy decision since the establishment of the Permanent Fund when the amendment appears on the November 2022 general election ballot.
Today’s action accomplishes four significant fiscal policy goals:
- Guarantees a PFD for every eligible Alaskan now and for future generations
- Creates a fair and sustainable 50/50 split of Permanent Fund earnings between PFDs and core state services
- Shields the $1 billion power cost equalization endowment from politicians by depositing it in the fund’s corpus
- Protects future state budgets from significant deficits by transferring $3 billion from the Permanent Fund Earning Reserve Account to the Constitutional Budget Reserve
“My administration has put forth three constitutional amendments that aim to create an economically healthy future for Alaskans by removing the politicized uncertainty they face year after year. SJR 6, with a vote of the people, will protect the permanent fund well into the future,” said Governor Dunleavy. “A number of legislators are supportive of this concept and we are positive the passage of SJR 6 will resolve the long standing dispute over the permanent fund and the PFD, and further protect the power cost equalization endowment within the permanent fund itself. A resolution to these long-standing issues will undoubtedly go a long way to putting Alaska on a strong fiscal foundation.”
After years of spending down savings, state government is approaching a situation where the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve is exposed to spending by means of a simple majority vote. The governor’s proposal will establish protections to prevent ad hoc spending from the Permanent Fund, allowing for continued growth. Further, the amendment will give confidence to Alaskans that they will receive their annual 50% share of the State’s financial wealth.
Governor Dunleavy introduced two other constitutional amendments this session to solve the state’s budget deficit. One amendment (HJR 6/SJR 5) sets an appropriation limit for state spending, the other amendment (HJR 8/SJR 7) empowers Alaskans by prohibiting the establishment of a state tax without voter approval.
The amended legislation will be introduced in today’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.