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$3,200 Payment to Residents Approved by Alaskan Lawmakers

Alaska Lawmakers OK Payments to Residents of About $3,200
Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche, second from right, speaks to, from left, Sens. Tom Begich, Bill Wielechowski and Gary Stevens before the start of a Senate floor session on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Wednesday marked a constitutional meeting limit for the regular legislative session, and lawmakers were trying to finish their work. (Photo:AP News)

Alaska Lawmakers OK Payments to Residents of About $3,200

A state spending package has been approved by the Alaska Legislature that would pay residents about $3,200 this year after a vote that would have boosted the payout to an estimated $3,850 narrowly failed in the House.

In the City of Juneau, Alaska, the legislature approved a state spending package late Wednesday that would pay residents about $3,200 this year.

The House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative budget agreement last Tuesday and called for a dividend from the earnings of the state’s oil-wealth fund of about $2,500 this year, plus a $1,300 “energy relief” check.

Unfortunately, the proposal needed half the funding for the energy checks to come from a budget reserve account which requires three-fourths support in both the House and Senate for it to be tapped.

According to a published post by US News, if the three-quarter vote failed in either or both chambers the estimated indicated payments would be around $3,200 or around $3,850 if both chambers had the necessary votes.

Alaska Lawmakers OK Payments to Residents of About $3,200

Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche, left, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, right, meet with reporters in Micciche’s office in the early morning hours of May 19 in Juneau, Alaska, after the Legislature ended its regular session. Micciche, a Republican, and Begich, a Democrat, discussed their working relationship, as well as well as parts of the session they were either pleased with or disappointed with. (Photo: Yukon News)

$3,200 Budget Approved by Alaska Lawmakers for Residents

The budget has been approved by 19-1 through the Senate and reached the required threshold to access the reserve account with a 15-5 vote.

The House remained silent and did not take up the budget until hours later wherein  Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a statement urging representatives to provide the votes necessary for the higher payout.

Having 33-7 votes, the House passed the budget and support from at least 30 representatives was needed in a subsequent vote to access the reserve account. Rep. Grier Hopkins who is a Fairbanks Democrat voted no to have the final tally of 29-11 which enabled gave access to the reserve account.

Hopkins stated that it was a hard vote to make because it was in keeping with prior efforts aimed at fiscal restraint, trying to keep money in savings and working to put Alaska’s future “on a strong footing.

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