Here is the seventh installment in our series sharing exceptional work by Alaska state employees during the pandemic. The State of Alaska has long been one of our closest and most reliable partners, helping to develop workforce housing, build and renovate domestic violence shelters, improve libraries and start from scratch a philanthropy for all of Alaska, the Pick.Click.Give program.
Up now: the Alaska Department of Revenue. The department collects taxes, manages the State of Alaska’s money, collects and distributes child support and runs the Permanent Fund Dividend program.
During the pandemic, the Permanent Fund Dividend group especially stood out. The office performed what Revenue Commissioner Lucinda Mahoney calls “absolutely incredible work.” Many Alaskans are experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic. Gov. Mike Dunleavy wanted to get 2020 PFD funds to Alaskans as soon as possible, rather than wait for the usual distribution in October. Permanent Fund Division Director Anne Weske developed a plan to make an early payment happen. “She mobilized a team and worked with several other departments within the State of Alaska,” Mahoney said. “Everyone worked together.”
Dividend payments of $992 started July 1 from the program that allows all Alaskans to share in the state’s oil, gas and mineral wealth. Almost 600,000 Alaskans are eligible for the payments in 2020.
In a time of extreme need, this group of state employees worked significant overtime and weekends to quickly get money to fellow Alaskans. We thank these unsung heroes of Revenue!
About the Unsung Heroes series
Rasmuson Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan recently asked State of Alaska commissioners to highlight some of those whose efforts to adapt and respond stand out for going above and beyond, often in ways not seen by the public. This series is the result. Previous stories shined a light on the departments of Transportation, Administration, Fish and Game, Commerce, Military and Veterans Affairs and Natural Resources. We will close out the series next week with a look at the department called to do the most during the pandemic, the State Department of Health and Social Services. Find previous stories here.