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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alaskans Favor Payout

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Balancing the state budget is less attractive to Alaskans than keeping the annual dividend each man, woman and child receives from the state's oil-royalty savings account.

Voters on Tuesday rejected a plan to divide the earnings of the $26 billion Alaska Permanent Fund between state spending and the fund's wildly popular annual dividend.

The plan before voters would have cut the dividend to about $1,340 in 2001. Last year's payout was $1,540, and this year's is expected to exceed $1,700.

The 83 percent vote against means Democratic Governor Tony Knowles and the Republican-controlled Legislature must try again to find a new way to fill the gap between state spending and normal revenue.