News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Stedman
For Immediate Release: January 08, 2018

Let’s Protect the Permanent Fund & Guarantee a Dividend

Stedman_stamp.jpgSenator Bert Stedman
  ~ Send Email
  ~ Web Site

SITKA – Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) introduced a constitutional amendment today for consideration in the upcoming legislative session to protect the Permanent Fund and guarantee a dividend. SJR 9 would ensure Alaskans receive a reasonable annual dividend, roughly $1,800 in the first year after voter approval, from the Permanent Fund while protecting it from overspending.

“The Permanent Fund and the dividend are critical to our future,” said Sen. Stedman. “We must ensure the fund maintains its financial health, continues to grow for future generations, and provides a fair dividend.”

SJR 9 would require the Legislature to annually appropriate 2 percent of the market value of the Permanent Fund’s 5-year average value to dividend payments for Alaskans.

SJR 9 would also allow, but not require, the Legislature to annually appropriate up to an additional 2.5 percent of the market value of the Permanent Fund’s 5-year average to either increase the dividend, make deposits back to the principal of the Permanent Fund, or to use for essential government services, depending on the financial circumstances at the time.

The most the Legislature could annually withdraw from the fund would be 4.5 percent, the same percentage that two different financial expert consultants for the Permanent Fund have said is the best level of draw to use (Callan & Associates, February 24, 2017, and Bridgewater, December 12, 2017).

“I agree with the experts,” said Sen. Stedman. “A maximum 4.5 percent draw allows the Permanent Fund to inflation proof itself while also providing flexibility for a draw as low as 2 percent for dividends depending on the circumstances. A maximum 4.5 percent draw is also the rate I urged last session in my bill.”

“This is the fiscally conservative step Alaska needs to take to protect the permanent fund,” Sen. Stedman continued. “Right now, the Legislature can appropriate at will from the Permanent Fund’s $14 billion dollar plus Earnings Reserve Account with a simple majority vote. If SJR 9 is approved by the Legislature and voters, the money in the ERA will merge with the principal of the Permanent Fund, which is constitutionally protected from being spent. Additionally, all future earnings will remain in the principal. Future draws from the Permanent Fund for dividends or essential government programs will only be allowed under the formula approved by voters and written in the constitution.”

If SJR 9 passes both bodies of the Legislature, a constitutional amendment will be placed before the voters at the next general election on November 6, 2018.

For more information, contact Senator Stedman’s Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro at (907) 465-3873.

###

icon-facebook.png Share Share this on Twitter Tweet

News & Videos more >

Senator Peter Micciche

Legislature Cuts Red Tape for Working Alaskans

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed a bill to reduce the state’s regulatory burden on barbers, hairdressers, hair braiders and those with student loans....  Full Story >>

Senator Cathy Giessel

Legislature Provides Oversight for Outside Wholesale Drug Distributors

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed a bill to license out-of-state wholesale drug distributors.  Full Story >>

Senator Kevin Meyer

Legislature Declares September 11 as Patriot Day

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today unanimously passed a bill establishing September 11 of each year as Patriot Day.  Full Story >>

Senator Lyman Hoffman

Senate Expands Access to Virtual Education for Alaska Students

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today passed a bill to boost the minimum Internet speed for Alaska’s K-12 students, expanding access to virtual education across the state....  Full Story >>

Senator John Coghill

Senate Reaffirms Commitment to Alaska’s Statehood Rights

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Alaska’s statehood rights.  Full Story >>

Senator Anna MacKinnon

Senate Advances Series of Bills to Improve Education in Alaska

JUNEAU – In the midst of declining test scores and school enrollment, rising healthcare costs, and struggles with teacher retention and morale, the Alaska Senate today advanced a...  Full Story >>

Senator Kevin Meyer

Legislature Proclaims April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming April 2018 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Full Story >>

Senator Lyman Hoffman

Senate Passes State Operating Budget

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today passed the state operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019, totaling $3.2 billion in unrestricted general funds (UGF) for agency and statewide operations....  Full Story >>

Senator Pete Kelly

Senate Restores Access to Private Property in Dalton Highway Corridor

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed a bill to restore access rights to private homesteaded property owners in the James Dalton Highway corridor....  Full Story >>

Senator Pete Kelly

Senate Approves Bill to Curb Prenatal Alcohol & Drug Exposure

JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed a bill to help curb the epidemic of prenatal drug and alcohol exposure in Alaska.  Full Story >>

Find your Senator full map