House committee starts work on PFD legislation

A state House committee last week held its first hearing on a bill intended to settle the Legislature’s biggest annual political battle: The amount of the Permanent Fund dividend.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, who represents Ketchikan, Wrangell and Metlakatla, would amend state law so that 75% of the annual draw on Permanent Fund earnings goes toward paying for schools and other public services, with 25% designated for the PFD.

“Tonight, we’re going to open a can of worms,” Chairman Ben Carpenter, of Nikiski, said at the March 1 meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Ortiz’s p...


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