Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he expects the Legislature to address a second Permanent Fund dividend when lawmakers convene in January.

With the Department of Revenue forecasting an additional $1.2 billion in oil revenues in fiscal 2022, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Wednesday he is not optimistic that lawmakers will proceed with caution.

He predicted that dollars will go to pet projects. “Every time we come into a windfall or increased revenue, it is spent,” Dunleavy told the News-Miner. "And when we don't have an increase in revenue but the PFD available and unprotected by the Constitution, it is spent." (Hear audio clip at the end of this article.)

Dunleavy is advocating for an additional Permanent Fund dividend when the Legislature convenes in January 2022.

He would like to see the payout as a 50-50 split on the earnings reserve of the Permanent Fund, with half going to a dividend payout and half for state services.

He previously proposed the 50-50 plan but it did not advance in back-to-back special sessions.

The Legislature adjourned Tuesday after the fourth special session, called by Dunleavy to address fiscal policy, including the Permanent Fund program. No action was taken.

"The people of Alaska are faced with no answer on the PFD or the permanency of the PFD," Dunleavy said. 

The governor is calling on lawmakers to address a constitutional spending limit in January, which he had proposed as part of his fiscal package. 

The governor acknowledged that opposition in the Legislature may include some lawmakers with a political agenda. Dunleavy is up for re-election in 2022.

“They [some lawmakers] don’t like that I am advocating for the people of Alaska,” he said.

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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