- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Arguments have been scheduled for next month in lawsuit challenging Gov. Bill Walker’s cut to this year’s Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.

State court Judge William Morse generally agreed to a sped-up schedule requested by the parties. But he said a proposed decision date of Dec. 2 might not be achievable. He said he won’t know for sure until motions of have been filed.

Arguments are set for Nov. 17 in Anchorage.

The lawsuit was filed by three current and former lawmakers. It says the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. was obligated by law to make available nearly $1.4 billion from the fund’s earnings reserve for dividends, in spite of a Walker veto reducing that amount. The resulting dividend will be about half of what it otherwise would have been, $1,022.

Walker has defended his veto as necessary as Alaska grapples with a budget deficit.

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