Governor Michael J. Dunleavy today signed into law H.B. 2001, a bill passed by the legislature to authorize the first $1,605 installment of the 2019 Permanent Fund Dividend. In a prepared video announcement, the governor reiterated his commitment to pursue the lawful remainder of this year’s dividend.
House Republicans expressed a variety of responses to the governor’s announcements.
“The governor has been very amenable to our caucus’ requests and considerations through the negotiating process this last month,” said Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage), House Minority Leader. “Because of this open dialogue with the governor, the House Republicans were able to be that check and balance that is so vital to our system of government. Through our dialogue, we were able to preserve the Senior Benefits Program, Council for the Arts, and also transition the university’s reductions to a timeline that will not damage the integrity of the institution.”
“This year, the House Republicans organized around the principle that major budget reductions were necessary to protect us from the uncertainty of a fluctuating economy,” said Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard (R-Wasilla), member of the House Finance Committee. “We are pleased to see that so many of those necessary reductions we fought for remain in place, and I remain vigilant in fighting for a full, statutory Permanent Fund Dividend."
“I’m very saddened that our statutes and constitution are held in such low regard by so many in the legislature. Too many legislators made the decision that protecting government spending was more important than following the law and paying the full PFD,” said Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole), former Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee. “This year’s budget process was extremely difficult because it was the first time that our government was forced to take an objective look at our dangerous spending situation. But rather than deal with it, they chose to keep on the same path.”