A record-breaking Permanent Fund Dividend was announced Monday morning, not from the Governor, but instead from 12-year-old student, because, according to Governor Bill Walker, the fund is really about the next generation.
“The amount is, $2,072,” Shania Sommer said. She is a 7th grader at Palmer Junior Middle School and is involved in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering program.
Without adjusting for inflation, this is the largest amount received by Alaskans in the history of the Permanent Fund Dividend.
The previous record was set in 2008, when dividend checks came in at $2,069.
Governor Walker says this is the first time in Alaska’s history the earnings of the Permanent Fund have exceeded the earnings from oil.
“So we’re in a bit of a dilemna this year, given that with the price of oil, half our income went away, and we’re in about a $3 billion deficit,” he said. “So, this year, we’ll be looking at ways of balancing the budget with a plan going forward. We’ll work with the legislature on that.”
Permanent Fund Dividend payouts are based on a 5-year’s average of the fund’s income.