State Senate poised to debate dividend bill

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state Senate is poised to debate legislation seeking to set the size of this year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.

Debate over the dividend paid to residents has snarled efforts to finalize a state budget with the start of the new fiscal year weeks away.

The Senate proposal is for a $1,600 dividend, equal to last year's reduced payout. Checks have been capped the last three years amid an ongoing budget deficit.

Senate Finance Committee Co-chair Bert Stedman said he expected an amendment to be offered calling for a full payout, which estimates suggest would be around $3,000.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Monday called the proposed $1,600 dividend a nonstarter. He has said the historical dividend calculation should be followed and not changed without a vote of the people.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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