Senate committee advances rewrite of dividend formula

    The Alaska State Capitol in downtown Juneau.

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - The size of the check residents receive from Alaska's oil fund would be smaller next year under a Senate proposal than if an existing calculation were followed.

    That existing formula has been ignored in recent years amid a budget deficit. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said the law should be followed and not changed without a vote of the people. Some lawmakers say that's unsustainable.

    Last year, lawmakers began using Alaska Permanent Fund earnings, which are used to pay dividends, to help cover government expenses.

    They also sought to limit withdrawals. The amount for the upcoming budget year for government and dividends is $2.9 billion, about two-thirds of which would go to dividends under a full payout.

    A Senate committee Tuesday advanced a measure calling for an even split.

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