Paying Dividends Alaskans love their permanent fund dividends. But for the last three years the amount of the PFD was reduced in order to help balance the budget. Now, the new governor has promised to pay Alaskans for the difference, and make sure that each and every one of us gets thousands of dollars more this year. But the state also has a $1.5 billion dollar deficit. How can lawmakers make the payments and balance the budget? The new podcast, Paying Dividends, will follow along with the legislative session as this high stakes debate plays out in Juneau.
Paying Dividends

Paying Dividends

From Alaska Public Media

Alaskans love their permanent fund dividends. But for the last three years the amount of the PFD was reduced in order to help balance the budget. Now, the new governor has promised to pay Alaskans for the difference, and make sure that each and every one of us gets thousands of dollars more this year. But the state also has a $1.5 billion dollar deficit. How can lawmakers make the payments and balance the budget? The new podcast, Paying Dividends, will follow along with the legislative session as this high stakes debate plays out in Juneau.

Most Recent Episodes

Ep. 6: Between Now and October

The Alaska Senate's plan for finding the money to pay for full Permanent Fund dividends includes breaking into the most sacrosanct of the state's piggy banks.

Ep. 5: The Senate's Turn

The House has passed the budget. It's the Senate's turn. Senators have to decide how much to cut schools and health care, the ferry system and the University of Alaska. Where do leading senators stand, and what do they see happening next?

Ep. 4: Taking the Show on the Road

Gov. Mike Dunleavy's austerity budget isn't going over smoothly in the legislature. Now, he's taking his fiscal plan on the road with stops in communities from Nome to Fairbanks to Kenai. Members of the state House have also been talking about the budget in towns across Alaska. So, as Alaskans got up close and personal with their elected representatives — what's the message?

Ep. 2: Betting the Farm

Along with the Gov. Mike Dunleavy's proposed spending cuts come job losses. Depending on which economist you ask, the state could lose anywhere from 600 government jobs to at least 12,000 jobs in fields like education and healthcare. But Dunleavy is also proposing to inject almost $2 billion dollars back into the state's economy through a larger PFD, arguing that the PFD and private sector will make up for job losses that come from spending cuts.

Ep. 1: Making Good

Alaska's new governor promised to pay dividends of more than $6,000 when he was running for office. But delivering on that promise isn't going to be simple. It might not even be possible, because the legislature that holds the permanent fund's purse strings. What do lawmakers think about Dunleavy's promise? Will they work with him or against him to balance the budget and pay big dividends?

Coming Soon: Paying Dividends

On February 11, KTOO and Alaska Public Media launch Paying Dividends, a new podcast that will follow along with the legislative session as the high stakes debate over the Permanent Fund and the state's budget plays out in Juneau.

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