Senate Introduces Energy Voucher Bill

The Associated Press

Alaska residents would receive energy vouchers to help address high energy costs under a bill introduced in the state Senate.

SB203 would provide every adult recipient of an Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend this fall to receive a voucher either for 250 gallons of heating oil or an equivalent amount of natural gas, or for 1,500 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Sen. Joe Thomas, the bill’s primary sponsor, in a floor speech called for working together to solve what he called “the greatest challenge facing far too many Alaska families.”

The bill does not yet have a fiscal note detailing the cost. A $3.7 billion surplus has been projected for this year and next. Thomas (D-Fairbanks) said a goal is to use about 9 cents of every surplus dollar to provide assistance.

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