House struggles could risk Permanent Fund Corp. in long term

As session nears end, no deal yet to protect state investments

As the Alaska Legislature careens toward the end of its 2018 regular session, the head of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is urging lawmakers to put brakes on their ability to spend from the fund.

A divided Alaska House of Representatives may not be able to deliver.

In a talk with reporters Friday, House Majority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, said his 21-member caucus is having problems reaching agreement on a plan to draw money from the fund. Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome and the lead negotiator for the House Majority, concurred with Tuck’s assessment.

Since last year, the coalition House Majority has pushed a budget-balancing plan that includes modest cuts, increased oil taxes, a state income tax, and spending from the Permanent Fund. The Senate has rejected changes to oil taxes and an income tax, which leaves the House Majority faced with the choice of a budgetary deadlock (and potential government shutdown) or using the Permanent Fund alone.

For the rest of this story, visit the Juneau Empire.

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