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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Senate Okays $5,500 Stimulus Check For Eligible Alaskans

The Senate in Alaska voted for an amendment in the budget that could give a combined stimulus check worth $5,500 to every resident of Alaska, including children, who fulfill the qualifying criteria. The relief payment comprises a full premeditated Permanent Fund dividend, which is statutory. It also has an energy assistance component of $1,300 that will help families cope with the rise in gasoline prices.

But the legislation only passed through the Senate at 10-9 and 12-7.  The House of Representatives had only approved the $1,300 in dividend plus an extra energy assistance stimulus check of the same amount for a sum of $2,600. This difference of $1,600 between the houses has to be sorted out before any sort of legislation is pushed through.

The Total Alaskan Stimulus Check Is Set For A Vote On Tuesday

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The operating budget for the relief payment is yet to be approved by the Senate, the Permanent Fund amount being only a part. The total budget is destined to go for a vote on Tuesday.

Senators Shelley Hughes, Mia Costello, Roger Holland, Lora Reinbold, Robert Myers, David Wilson, and Mike Shower, from the Republican camp, and Donny Olson, Bill Wielechowski, and Scott Kawasaki from the Democrats voted in favor of a full PFD.

Democrats, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Tom Begich, Jesse Kiehl, and Lyman Hoffman for the Democrats and Republicans Click Bishop, Peter Micciche, Bert Stedman, Josh Revak, and Gary Stevens went against the statutory dividend.

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Senator Natasha Von-Imhof was exempted from the proceeding of the Senate. She was opposed to large dividents and is also not in the running for reelection. Other than Senator Donny Olson, all the other lawmakers must run for office this year.

Governor Mike Dunleavy (Republican) had in early 2022 requested a stimulus check of $1,260, plus a dividend of $2,600.  He had also called for a road forward to constitutionalize the formula through a vote from the residents of Alaska.

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