PFD supporters urge Alaska governor not to veto $1,600 PFD

Gov. Dunleavy talks about the possibility of vetoing budget items, or an entire budget, if a...
Gov. Dunleavy talks about the possibility of vetoing budget items, or an entire budget, if a full PFD can't be provided to Alaskans. (KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 10:37 PM AKDT
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As Gov. Dunleavy continues to make big decisions about budget vetoes, there's one notable issue he hasn't decided on yet.

“You know we're still debating what we're gonna do with the PFD, but we are 100 percent in the belief that there should be a full PFD as calculated by the decades-old calculation." Dunleavy told reporters on Tuesday.

SB 2002, which the governor signed into law on Aug. 8, reversed many of his vetoes and included language for a $1,600 PFD. The governor has long pushed for a $3,000 dividend.

Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, was the only senator to vote against the bill.

“Dividing the permanent fund dividend in half while adding hundreds of millions back into the budget just didn't make sense to me," Reinbold said.

She says she doesn't want to tell Dunleavy what he should or shouldn't veto, and that it's his decision to make on the $1,600 dividend on his desk, but she still strongly supports a full PFD.

“The legislature writes law and we pass a budget, then the governor has to make the tough decisions,” Reinbold said. “Is he going to veto what the budget is or not?"

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, also supports a full PFD.

“I’m a long-time supporter of the Permanent Fund Dividend,” Wielechowski said. “I've filed legislation to put it in the constitution."

But he says he's worried about continuing to fight over it.

“If [Dunleavy] vetoes the dividend now, it's likely that there's no dividend,” Wielechowski said. “Because we're just getting late in the game."

Both senators can agree, Dunleavy's choice in the next few weeks won't be an easy one.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dunleavy signed HB 2001 on Aug. 8. In fact, he signed SB 2002 on that same date. Copyright 2019 KTUU. All rights reserved.