HB 2001 passes house after PFD language is removed

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska House Bill 2001, which was originally a Permanent Fund Dividend appropriations bill, was amended on the house floor Wednesday to completely remove all PFD language.

House Bill 2001, which was originally a Permanent Fund Dividend appropriations bill, was amended on the house floor Wednesday to completely remove all PFD language. (Andrew Hawkins/KTVF)

The bill was first introduced at the beginning of the second special session, calling for a $1,600 PFD. It was first amended to reintroduce funding lost during the governor's vetoes. That amendment also dropped the PFD payout to $925. Two days ago, the house Finance committee altered the bill again, electing to keep some of the governor's vetoes, and raise the PFD back to $1,600.

As of today, HB 2001 no longer addresses the PFD, and only reverses some of over $400 million dollars in cuts that Governor Mike Dunleavy attached to the state's operating budget. The amendment that removed the PFD language passed by a vote of 19 'for' and 10 'against'. The bill itself passed as well, with a vote of 21 to 10. Fairbanks Representative Adam Wool explained why he voted in favor of the bill.

"I am sorry to the University," said Rep. Wool. "In this bill, (UA) has sustained another $20 million dollars, but that's a compromise I'm willing to make for the greater good, and for the people that all spoke to us at all these meetings. Overwhelmingly, they want to restore these cuts. I'm supportive of that."

There were a total of 11 representatives absent from Wednesday's session.

With the removal of the PFD language, a new bill is being introduced to determine the amount of this year's payment to Alaskans. HB 2003 was introduced Wednesday, and is believed to call for a $1,600 PFD.