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Alaska House leaders eye constitutional measure for dividend

March 9, 2018

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska House leaders plan to pursue a proposal to constitutionally protect the annual check Alaskans receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund.

It likely won’t be a full dividend. House Finance Committee co-chair Paul Seaton says he anticipates a new calculation similar to what the House previously proposed, which limited the payout.

The proposal, which is expected to address the use of Permanent Fund earnings and constitutionally protecting a Permanent Fund dividend, is set for introduction Monday.

It is being pushed by House leaders, frustrated by the Republican-led Senate’s opposition to taxes as a way to diversify state revenues. But it could be a heavy lift.

Two-thirds of each the House and Senate must approve a proposed constitutional amendment before it can go to voters. The 22-member House majority can’t reach that threshold without help from minority Republicans.

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