In 1976 I voted for the creation of the Permanent Fund. In 1981, I wrote a college paper that recommended the best way to use Permanent Fund earnings was to “share the revenues from common-owned resources with the people.” I think the Alaska people would give me an A+ for that paper today.
The legislature has been playing games with the PFD, and the Dividend has been cut in half. As a result, the economy has gotten worse and crime has gone up.
I think we need to honor the commitment made to Alaskans that half of the five-year average of the earnings of the Permanent Fund be distributed to the people of Alaska as a dividend. Governor Jay Hammond saw the Permanent Fund Dividend as a direct boost for Alaska’s economy as it circulates. Governor Hammond was right.
The message I will carry to the Legislature is simple: don’t mess with the Permanent Fund Dividend. It is the people’s share of Alaska’s resource wealth.