Embattled Alaska Governor Scales Back Budget Cuts and Approves Oil-Wealth Dividend

The decision falls short of governor's promise of a $3000 dividend and reduces proposed cuts that enraged Alaskans enough to start a recall movement
August 21, 2019 AT 8:33 AM

By Associated Press

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he is approving the roughly $1,600 oil-wealth fund check for residents passed by lawmakers this year but views it as a partial payment and plans to press for additional funding.

House and Senate leaders tempered any expectations of a fatter payout and insisted any such discussions need to include consideration of changing the dividend calculation.

Dunleavy, in a video released Monday, said majorities in the House and Senate do not share his position on the Permanent Fund Dividend and paying out checks of about $3,000 this year. Still, the Republican governor said he would fight for more money for the dividend and expected a fall special session focused on the issue.

He said he will not let up for Alaskans “until they receive what they are due.”

Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow said details of any special session would come later.

Dunleavy, a former state senator, campaigned on a dividend for residents paid in line with a longstanding calculation that has not been followed since 2016 as the state has grappled with a budget deficit.

Lawmakers instead asked him to consider dividends of about $1,600 this year. Last year’s capped payout amounted to $1,600 checks.

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