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Governor signs $1,100 PFD bill with spending he had previously vetoed

Gov. Mike Dunleavy during a Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 interview in Juneau, Alaska.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy during a Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 interview in Juneau, Alaska.(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:10 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a bill on Wednesday to deliver a $1,100 Permanent Fund dividend to Alaskans.

Staff at the Alaska Department of Revenue are working as “quickly as we can” to get checks ready to be sent out. They’re estimated to be distributed 30 days from when the Legislature passed the dividend bill on Tuesday.

“We plan on providing updates on our website as we move through the process and come up with a more exact date for distribution,” said Brian Fechter, a deputy commissioner at the department.

The bill has other provisions, including for some spending the governor had vetoed earlier in the year that he then reintroduced at the beginning of the third special session.

Over $10 million will go to the Alaska Travel Industry Association. A tourism marketing campaign had been halted after the governor’s June veto.

“With additional investment in statewide marketing, we can keep dollars in the marketplace and continue to share safe travel messages with potential visitors this winter and most importantly be attracting visitors for next year,” said Sarah Leonard, the association’s president.

The Legislature also restored $400,000 in funding for the Alaska Legal Services Corp. Dunleavy had vetoed some funding for the statewide nonprofit that provides civil legal help for domestic violence survivors.

Included in the bill is over $50 million in federal funds to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to respond to COVID-19. There is also funding for renewable energy projects in rural Alaska.

The Legislature approved paying $54 million in refundable oil and gas tax credits. The program ended in 2016, but the credits are still owed to producers.

Last year, the Alaska Supreme Court struck down a bonding plan to pay those tax credits as unconstitutional.

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