JUNEAU, Alaska — The Latest on the court decision involving the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

Gov. Bill Walker says his decision to reduce the size of the dividend Alaskans received from the state’s oil-wealth fund last year was “by far” the most difficult decision he has made as governor.

But Walker says it was necessary to ensure that there will be future Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.

On Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that Walker acted within his authority in reducing the amount available for dividends last year. The ruling came in a case brought by state Sen. Bill Wielechowski and two former legislators.

The court found that the state constitutional amendment establishing the permanent fund does not allow the dedication of permanent fund income.

It also said the legislature’s use of permanent fund income is subject to normal appropriation and veto processes.


10:45 a.m.

An Alaska legislator says he’s “bitterly disappointed” by a state Supreme Court decision that upheld a cut to the checks Alaskans received from the state’s oil-wealth fund.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski had sued over Gov. Bill Walker’s cut to the amount available for Alaska Permanent Fund dividends last year. He was joined in the case by two former legislators.

In a statement, Wielechowski says the decision highlights a need to enshrine the dividend in the state constitution.

State Attorney General Jahna (JAW’-nuh) Lindemuth says she’s glad there is now more clarity around the use of Alaska Permanent Fund earnings as the state looks to address its budget deficit.

The court concluded that the state constitutional amendment establishing the permanent fund does not allow the dedication of permanent fund income.


9:35 a.m.

The Alaska Supreme Court says Gov. Bill Walker acted within his authority in reducing the amount set aside for checks to state residents from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund last year.

The decision, released Friday, affirms a lower court decision that sided with the state in the dispute over Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.

The high court says the legislature’s use of fund income is subject to normal appropriation and veto processes. It says Walker validly exercised his veto authority when reducing the amount available for dividends last year.

The case was brought by Democratic state Sen. Bill Wielechowski (wil-ah-KOW-skee) and two former legislators.

They had argued that the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. was required by law to make available nearly $1.4 billion from the fund’s earnings reserve for dividends, despite Walker’s veto.