FAIRBANKS, Alaska - With The Legislative session kicking off Tuesday in Juneau, newly elected Governor Mike Dunleavy held a press conference last week to discuss Alaska's initial budget. Topics included the full restoration on the Permanent Fund Dividend. According to the Associated Press, a budget draft released Friday was described as a starting point that works off the budget document created by Governor Bill Walker's Administration. Dunleavy's draft relies on more conservative oil prices, and the full dividend payout. While a complete proposal has not been released, he plans to continue to push for the full PFD amount, a sustainable state budget, and cutting regulations. Dunleavy says he will be presenting his final proposal in the coming days. The governor's Press secretary, Matt Shuckerow, said the PFD has been based on an historic formula.
"Frankly he said there may come a time when the people of Alaska choose to use this differently, that Alaskans may choose to use money for the PFD in a different way, but that's not for politicians to unilaterally make. That Alaskans can choose how that's done, and so for now he says he wants to restore the full PFD, under historic calculations in addition to proposing to repay the previous year's PFD's to the extent that they would have been for previous calculations," Shuckerow said.