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Lawmakers eye future special session on dividends

Alaska House Speaker Bryce Edgmon.

Juneau, Alaska (AP) - Legislative leaders say they are committed to paying residents an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend this year, even if this special session ends without agreement on the amount.

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon says the expectation is for a future special session on the dividend. The current special session expires Friday.

The permanent fund is a sort of nest egg, seeded with oil money and grown through investments. Lawmakers last year started using fund earnings, traditionally used to pay dividends, to help pay for government expenses.

The director of the state Permanent Fund Dividend Division says officials there will need to request funds for checks from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. by early September.

The Legislature has approved creating a working group as it struggles with possible revisions to the dividend formula.

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