Governor Walker’s Statement on PFD Lawsuit - P.O.W. Report

Monday, September 19, 2016

Governor Walker’s Statement on PFD Lawsuit

September 16, 2016 ANCHORAGE - “As most Alaskans realize, and as stated by the legislature’s own financial advisor, our state is in the midst of the gravest financial crisis in our history. We are in a $3.2 billion deficit now.

It is truly unfortunate that our legislature failed to pass a sustainable fiscal plan, like the one we submitted this past year, to protect and grow the permanent fund dividend program. Instead, this continued lack of action will result in the elimination of the PFD program in just a few years.

This year’s PFD is close to the historical average paid to every eligible Alaskan since 1982. It was set at a level that could be sustained as part of a larger fiscal solution—to ensure a PFD program continues for generations to come. The amount that was vetoed remains in the Permanent Fund reserve/savings account for future distributions.

I’m disappointed that an incumbent legislator who failed to work towards a solution to our fiscal crisis—a solution that would protect the long-term viability of the PFD—has decided instead to pursue this lawsuit eight weeks prior to his re-election bid. This suit detracts from the real issue: solving Alaska’s fiscal crisis so we can then begin to grow Alaska.

Today, a former legislator compared our current situation to that in the 1990s. That’s misleading. In the 1990s, we had approximately 2 million barrels of oil a day going through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). Today, the TAPS throughput is about a half-million barrels a day. That’s a huge difference in the potential for an economic rebound. In the 1990s, we were not facing a $3.2 billion deficit and drawing down on our savings at a rate of $12 million a day. Relying on a 1990s-type rebound is very, very risky.

I therefore stand by my difficult but necessary decision—prompted by the legislature’s failure to pass a fiscal plan—to veto part of this year’s dividend appropriation to preserve our PFD program and other financial resources for this and all future generations of Alaskans.” – Governor Bill Walker

 Read More: Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Mallott Encourage Alaskans to Help Prevent Suicide  

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  1. To me it sounds like since they didn't do their job correctly and come up with a fiscal budget that actually works walker has decided to take our money to fix their problem.. which I don't think actually fixes their problem. Am I wrong?

    1. You aren't wrong but it's a bit deeper than that.

      This is a classic example of the consequences of 'soft' socialism.

      Meaning; The majority of the Alaska Debt crisis is because of State Pensions and its health care system--as is the problem around the nation.

      Alaska government grew about 8% per year, promising Tier 1/2 Pensions, by the time they figured out their cushy system was unsustainable it was too late (and their promises where much bigger than their pocket book)

      So, we have a system that has a small Elite Group of Alaska State Employees who make really good money and have great pensions, and now that the state is broke they are forcing the Average Alaskan who makes much much less to pay for the mistakes of the government elite....

      I think a lot of "problems" in the future could be solved simply by creating term limits for all politicians! 2 terms for Governor, 4 terms for rep and 3 terms for Senator....this in theory cuts off the lobbying and forces the Legislators to actually focus on the issues because they know they cannot be "career politicians."

  2. That's such a good point. There should be limits. Is it still trying to be turned around by the other guy? Or did they turn that down?


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