To the editor: We, the citizens of our great state, having the foresight to recognize that our oil resources were finite, voted to create the permanent fund by a nearly 2-to-1 vote. We knew what we were doing and voted to establish a savings account so that in the future the earnings from that account would be available to help sustain governmental services for future generations. That time is now.
Due to wise investments and past Legislatures who rolled additional funds into the corpus, the permanent fund currently earns more than what the state now collects in oil revenues.
We the citizens did not vote to establish the permanent fund dividend. It was the Legislature that established the dividend program. In fact, the original dividend was to grant $50 per person per year of residency, capped at $1,000. That was changed by the courts.
The dividend program has gone through a number of legislative changes to calculations and distribution. It is now time for another change. We must look back to our past in order to help save our future.
I urge each and every legislator to look back — and to move forward now by capping the dividend and exercising their constitutional veto override. If not, we may no longer have a future.