Alaska court to rule on oil wealth payments to state residents

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An Alaska lawmaker is making one last legal push to put about $1,000 back in the hands of nearly every state resident for their share of Alaska’s oil wealth.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski is scheduled to argue Tuesday to the Alaska Supreme Court that Gov. Bill Walker last year exceeded his authority to reduce the size of the yearly checks by about half, the Associated Press reports.

He hopes to reverse the governor’s action after losing in superior court.

Walker last year cut the amount of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks after lawmakers failed to agree on a plan to address the state’s budget deficit.

Wielechowski argues that the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. was obligated by law to make available nearly $1.4 billion from the fund’s earnings reserve for dividends, despite Walker’s veto.