Lawmakers push for energy rebate checks

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Leading Alaska lawmakers are continuing discussions of using a state budget surplus to send Alaskans checks for $500 to $1,000.

The money would be aimed at offsetting the high cost of gasoline and other fuel.

Rep. Bill Thomas Jr., R-Haines, has been pushing the idea.

He said Alaskans eligible in 2007 for an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend would be in line for "energy rebates."

Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, said he likes the concept and would be comfortable with a $500 check to Alaskans.

Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, said the legislative session would be a failure if lawmakers don't do something to reduce energy costs.

But he and some other House Democrats are skeptical of cutting everyone a check.

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