Senators file lawsuit over Walker's permanent fund veto

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska state senator and two former state senators sued the state Friday, claiming Gov. Bill Walker illegally vetoed Alaska Permanent Fund earnings that were required to be transferred to dividends.

    Walker in June cut in half anticipated permanent fund dividends that give all residents a share of the state's oil wealth.

    He said checks had to be reduced to save the program and he vetoed $666.3 million.

    He kept enough money in place to award everyone a $1,000 payout.

    The lawsuit filed by Sen. Bill Wielechowski and former Sens. Rick Halford and Clem Tillion says the Alaska Legislature can redirect fund earnings but the governor can't simply veto money out of the dividend fund.

    They say Walker's action violates legislation that created the permanent fund.

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