ANCHORAGE, March 13, 2018 – Mike Dunleavy, candidate for Governor, today made the following statement regarding this week’s legislative hearings on House Joint Resolution 23, a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the structure of the Permanent Fund and the annual dividend received by Alaskans.

“While HJR23 could go to the people for a vote, it shouldn’t.  This measure fails to protect the fund, does nothing to limit future spending and puts the dividend in peril.  Alaskan voters deserve the option of preserving the method for managing the Permanent Fund and calculating the annual PFD that has been in place in our statutes for decades.  The Permanent Fund and PFD have worked well since these programs were created. If the current method is not broken, why fix it?” Dunleavy asked.

Dunleavy continued, “It’s a shame that one of the few things that government got right is now under attack.  Governor Walker’s action in 2016 to cut the PFD in half was a loss for the people and a big win for a government that spends too much of our money.”

Dunleavy’s approach is to protect the Permanent Fund and the annual PFD by taking the statutory framework that has successfully managed the fund for decades and placing it within the constitution, thereby ensuring the people of Alaska have a voice in its future.

He added, “The people of Alaska have been completely ignored and sidetracked in this process and they are understandably upset. Our fiscal problems are not the result of the Permanent Fund or the PFD.  There is nothing wrong with the fund or PFD.  The problem is that Governor Walker, and some in the legislature, lack the political will to reduce spending, and have failed to forward constructive policies to put our struggling private sector economy back on track.”

Dunleavy concluded, “Special interests have always tried to get their hands on the Permanent Fund and PFD.  With Governor Walker, they may have a chance. However, if the people demand that their legislators look out for their interests, and send to the people a constitutional amendment that protects the fund and PFD, I have no doubt the people of Alaska will act and vote to save both for future generations. This fund belongs to Alaskans.  All discussion of its future should start with the people.