22nd Alaska State Legislature
News from Representative Lesil McGuire

Portrait of Representative Lesil McGuire, 123.4 K. Session:
State Capitol, Room 418
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2995
Fax: (907) 465-6592

716 W. 4th Ave., Suite 430
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0250
Fax: (907) 269-0249

Dividends Restored to Peace Corps Volunteers
McGuire's HB 314 Would Approve Allowable Absence for Service

For Immediate Release: March 13, 2002
Contact: Representative Lesil McGuire at (907) 465-2995

(JUNEAU) - Alaskans who volunteer for Peace Corps service will once again be eligible to receive Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, under a bill that Rep. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) sponsored and the House passed unanimously today.

"Peace Corps volunteers had an exemption back in 1983 that allowed them to be out of state for more than a year but still receive dividends," McGuire said. "That exemption was suspended in 1998, but this bill remedies that situation and reinstates Peace Corps volunteers' eligibility to receive the dividend just like other qualified Alaskans."

Given Alaska's small population and the relatively small percentage of Americans who volunteer for the service, House Bill 314 would restore dividend eligibility to only about 30 men and women, and would cost other recipients just a penny in decreased dividends, McGuire said.

"But more important than the money is the message this bill sends that volunteering is important to us as Americans and that it's valued by us as Alaskans," McGuire said. "In his state of the union address, President Bush called for Americans to commit to at least two years of service to their neighbors and nation sometime in their lifetimes. This bill would make it easier for Alaskans to respond to the president's call."

The Peace Corps is a federal program in which U.S. citizens who make a two-year commitment receive training in a foreign language, and in agriculture, public health, education or other skills that they then use to raise the standard of living in underdeveloped nations.

"Most the Peace Corps volunteers live on very tight budgets," McGuire said. "They don't even receive a salary, just a stipend that lets them live at the same standard of living as the people they serve, and a readjustment allowance of about $5,000 if they finish their two years. This bill is an opportunity to provide them the same financial boost that other Alaskans get, and to encourage their efforts."

Another element of the bill would let the Department of Revenue investigate dividend fraud cases and levy fines as administrative proceedings, saving the state the high costs of criminal prosecution of such cases.

HB 314 moves next to the Senate for consideration.

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Related Links

Dividends Restored to Peace Corps Volunteers

Peace Corps

Senate Companion - SB 232

Fiscal Responsibility Bills First Step in Developing Long Range Fiscal Plan

Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend Program

Alaska's Permanent Fund Corporation

HB 3 : Deposits to the Permanent Fund

HB 17 : Capital Projects Fund/Distribution of Permanent Fund Income

HB 35 : Distribution of Permanent Fund Income

HB 126 : Removal of Members of the Permanent Fund Board

HB 304 : Permanent Fund Income

HB 314 : PFD Eligibility for Peace Corp. Volunteers

HB 398 : Disposition Of Permanent Fund Income

HB 400 : Permanent Fund Contribution For Education

HB 459 : Tax Permanent Fund Dividend

HB 476 : Hold Harmless Law Regarding PFDs

HB 493 : Okay to Assign PFD to Nonprofit Corporation

HJR 15 : Constitution Amendment: Permanent Fund

SB 92 : Removal of Members of The Permanent Fund Board

SB 105 : Victims' Rights/ Prisoner's PFD

SB 193 : Effects of Permanent Fund Dividend

SB 232 : PFD Eligibility for Peace Corp. Volunteers

SJR 11 : Perm Fund Income Distribution