Why House leadership opposed an extra PFD in the budget


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As Alaskans eagerly await federal funding for COVID-19 relief, members of House leadership say it's because of that federal funding that they opposed paying out an additional Permanent Fund dividend check in the state budget passed last month. 

Just days before the legislature approved a final version of House Bill 205, President Donald Trump signed into law the country's largest-ever stimulus package, known as the CARES Act. It includes up to a $1,200 payment to adult taxpayers and up to $2,400 for married couples, as well as a $500 payout per child under the age of 17 — slated to be paid by the federal government sometime in mid-April. 

"That's going to be a substantial dividend," said Rep. Jennifer Johnston, Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee. "That's going to be larger than what we could have paid, so it didn't make sense to have two dividends coming out relatively at the same time."