I’m confused about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposal to pay out the rest of the 2016-2018 dividends. As I understand it, my children, who qualified for and received the partial payout of their 2016-2018 PFDs, would not be entitled to the additional amount should they not qualify for the 2019-2021 PFDs. My youngest is a junior in high school and my oldest is in his second year at UAA, but may decide to play an additional year of junior hockey outside. Perhaps he will choose to transfer to a school that can offer accreditation in the major he chooses. But this isn’t just about my boys. This is about all of the people who have moved or may move out of state and thus not be eligible for money that never should have been taken from them in the first place.
While I don’t see either of my boys moving away from Alaska, only God knows what the future will bring for them. But whatever the future holds does not change the fact that should the balance of the PFDs for 2016-2018 be paid out, they lived in Alaska at that time and qualified to get the money at that time. Therefore, they should get the rest of their money, which was an idea that many conservatives campaigned on this past election year.
The governor’s proposal adds additional requirements after the initial qualifications were already met. I’m also concerned that he is leaving it to the Legislature to approve each of the three years’ payments. Since he served as a senator, I’m fairly certain he hasn’t already forgotten how the Legislature works, or in the case of the state of Alaska, doesn’t work. My impression is that Gov. Dunleavy or his staff are trying to appeal to those moderates who voted to take part of the 2017 and 2018 PFDs. That isn’t why I voted for him. I voted for someone who I believed would stand up and keep the promises they made while campaigning. This doesn’t. It’s a mushy middle-of-the-road proposal that doesn’t reflect the mandate given to Gov. Dunleavy by the majority of Alaskans.
I hope our governor and Legislature will put forth a proposal to return the people’s money to the people.
— Carrie Smoldon
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