FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2015
Senator Wielechowski Urges Majority to Hear Resolution Protecting PFD
Wielechowski Says Safeguarding PFD in Constitution is Critical for Alaskans
ANCHORAGE – Senator Bill Wielechowski again urged the Senate Republican Majority to quickly take up and pass a resolution aimed at enshrining the Permanent Fund Dividend into the Alaska Constitution. Senator Wielechowski filed this resolution back in April 2013. It was not heard in 2013 or 2014. He again filed it in January 2015, yet has still not received a single hearing.
Currently, language in the Alaska Constitution does not define how the Permanent Fund Dividend shall be calculated, nor does it protect the funds eligible for distribution to the Alaskan people from being spent by the Legislature. Senate Joint Resolution 1, pre-filed by Senator Wielechowski (D – Anchorage) on Jan. 21, 2015, would amend the Alaska Constitution to ensure the annual dividends Alaskan families rely on are protected for generations to come. Although a formal hearing request was submitted to the Senate State Affairs Committee on Feb. 3, SJR1 has yet to receive a hearing.
Recognizing Gov. Jay Hammond’s ultimate goal for the Fund’s creation was to ensure every Alaskan benefited from co-owned resource wealth through a dividend program, Senator Wielechowski believes it’s time this is reflected in our Constitution. As with any constitutional amendment, should this resolution pass, the question would be put on the ballot of the next general election for the public to decide.
“Alaskans have come to rely on the Permanent Fund as a way to pay for high energy costs and to make ends meet,” said Sen. Wielechowski. “We always hear politicians talk about how they will protect the Permanent Fund. Here’s a chance for them to prove it. Let’s give the people of Alaska an opportunity to vote to put the PFD in the Constitution – so that our grandkids and their grandkids can be guaranteed to share in the benefits of our incredible oil and gas resources.”
For more information, please contact Frank Ameduri at (907) 269-0173 or firstname.lastname@example.org.