Alaskans pick up and turn in Permanent Fund Dividend applications at the Department of Revenue office in the State Office Building in March 2011. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Dividend payments expected in 30 days

Payments of $1,100 set for mid-October

Alaskans can expect to see their Permanent Fund Dividends in about 30 days following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s announcement he will not veto a bill allocating $1,100 for the payments.

Brian Fechter, deputy commissioner at the Department of Revenue, said in an email the PFD division was working as fast as possible, and 30 calendar days remains the estimated distribution time.

According to DOR, the state paid 630,937 dividends in 2020 amounting to more than $625 million. The bill signed by the governor split funding for the dividend between two sources — a move that remains a point of contention between Dunleavy and the Legislature — but the total amount spent for this year’s payment is $730.5 million.

The governor signed the bill Tuesday evening after its passage in the Alaska Senate that same day. Thirty calendar days from Sept. 15, is Oct. 13.

Several lawmakers, and Dunleavy, voiced deep frustration at the amount of the dividend, arguing the state should be following a statute from the 1980s which this year would have allocated a PFD of about $3,800. The governor submitted a bill proposing a $2,350 dividend citing the Alaska Permanent Fund’s strong growth over the past year, but that would have required lawmakers to break their own law limiting draws from the fund.

However, there is a strong resistance to overdrawing the earnings of the Permanent Fund that has strong bipartisan and bicameral support. Speaking on the floor of the Senate Tuesday, Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, said there were a number of funding statutes on the books and the state has constitutional obligations to fund programs that support health, safety and schools.

Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, said he found that argument unconvincing and said the Legislature should first allocate dividends based on the formula from the 1980s and use the remaining money for state services. Those state services would include things like police, infrastructure maintenance and schools.

The governor Tuesday called a fourth special session of the Legislature for Oct. 1, to debate “an act or acts relating to a fiscal plan.”

Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Rachel and Vernon Scott Miller celebrate the birth of their son Tripp Woodruff Miller, who was born on Sept. 19, 2021. Tripp Miller is the first baby born from IVF treatments in Homer. (Photo provided by Miller family)
‘Just keep going’

Miller family celebrates birth of son by IVF

(Black Press stock photo)
Homer man dies of COVID-19

Homer man’s death announced as part of reporting backlog.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
A Juneau resident receives a flu shot while getting a booster shot for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Centennial Hall on Oct. 2, 2021. More than 1,300 Juneau residents received booster shots at the clinic, and about half of those people also received a flu shot.
Experts urge flu shots ASAP

Jabs keep infections down and free up health care resources

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Most Read