Senate passes its version of the budget

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The Alaska Senate today passed its version of the State’s 2020 operating budget, with all senators except Juneau’s Jesse Kiehl voting for it. For Kiehl, it simply doesn’t spend enough, but it spends too much on Permanent Fund dividends.

The Senate budget has $258 million in cuts to the unrestricted general funds for state operations, and includes $1.94 billion for Alaska Permanent Fund dividends that would amount to $3,000 per eligible Alaskan.

The House Democrat-led budget has $200 million in cuts and is silent on the Permanent Fund dividend. The House majority chose not to commit to a number in the House’s budget bill. Budget analysts infer, however, that the amount left for the dividend would be about a $1,200 check per eligible Alaskan.

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