I’m Here for You
I want to hear from you,
March 11, 2018
Public Testimony Invitation:
Protect the Dividend in the Constitution
Tomorrow, the House Finance Committee will be taking public testimony on a proposal to place the Permanent Fund Dividend into the Constitution. The committee meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 12, and public testimony will be taken following an explanation of the resolution. Depending on the amount of testimony, it may be continued in the evening and the following day.
This is an important issue and the House Finance Committee wants to hear from the public! To provide testimony, you can go to the Anchorage Legislative Information Office at 1500 W Benson Blvd (for other LIO locations, visit the akleg.gov website) or call 465-4648 if you can’t make it to an LIO. Testimony that is emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org will also be entered into the public testimony.
What: Public Testimony on Protecting the Dividend in the Constitution
When: Monday, March 12, 1:30 p.m. (possibly continued at 7:00 p.m.) and again Tuesday, March 13, 1:30 p.m.
Where: House Finance Committee, Adams Committee Room, Capitol Building 519
Anchorage LIO, 1500 W Benson Blvd
Call 465-4668 for a call-in number if you can’t make it to an LIO
Reps. Tilton, Stutes, Tuck, and Millett welcome Alaska’s newest Representative, Tiffany Zulkosky (far left) of Bethel, who was sworn in on Friday, the day after International Women’s Day. There are now 19 women serving in the Legislature, more than ever before in Alaska’s history.
While details are still being worked out and are sure to change through the legislative process, there are two basic principles addressed in the proposal: 1) Protect the Dividend in the Constitution; and 2) Establish a structured draw from the Permanent Fund.
Why protect the Dividend in the Constitution?
Without a comprehensive fiscal plan, our Dividends fall under threat. Government already has the authority to take your Dividend away without a vote, as we’ve seen by reduced dividends over the last couple of years. By using the dividend to pay for essential services, you’ve already been taxed.
The Dividend is not charity, it is not an entitlement, it’s justice. We individually don’t own our subsurface mineral rights, we own them collectively as a state to be managed for the maximum benefit of the people of Alaska. The Dividend is our share of the resource royalties.
Protecting the Dividend in the Constitution will restrict government’s ability to get their hands on that money in the future. If we don’t do this now, it has been forecast that there could be no Dividend in five years.
Why have a Percent of Market Value (POMV) draw in the Constitution?
This provision is long overdue. Even if the markets crash, a dividend is guaranteed with the POMV management method. Because the POMV is calculated to be sustainable over a long period, it insulates the Fund from the volatility of boom and bust cycles of the markets. If the Fund doesn’t make any money, a Dividend is still possible.
Why put anything in the Constitution?
The Constitution is the highest law of the land, it outranks statute and protects your Dividend from the whims of Legislatures that change drastically over time.
This is a compact between your government and you. Any changes to the Constitution must be approved by a vote of the people and this is your chance to guarantee a Dividend for years to come.
I’m here for you, so please keep in touch on matters important to you and your family!
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