News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senate Majority Press
For Immediate Release: May 20, 2020

Legislature Ratifies CARES Act Spending Plan

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JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today voted to provide over $1 billion to Alaska communities, small businesses, K-12 schools, fisheries, airports and more from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Today’s vote provides assurance that this money will get into the hands of Alaskans as quickly as possible,” said Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage. “I am thankful to my colleagues in the House and Senate for their near-unanimous, swift vote to ensure Alaska communities, small businesses and families receive these funds.”

“Every day that goes by we are losing more businesses and jobs,” said Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “With today’s decisive action, I am hoping checks will be sent out of Juneau this Friday.”

House Bill 313 ratifies spending proposals requested by Governor Mike Dunleavy and passed by the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee earlier this month through the Revised Program Legislative (RPL) process, including: 

  • $568.6 million for community assistance;
  • $290 million in grants for small businesses;
  • $51.6 million for statewide aviation, rural airports and the Whittier Tunnel;  
  • $50 million in grants for the fishing industry;
  • $45 million for K-12 education;
  • $42 million for child nutrition programs;
  • $29 million for rural transportation costs, including the Alaska Marine Highway System;
  • $10 million for homeless assistance;
  • $5 million for University of Alaska and its students; and
  • $3.6 million for state and local law enforcement.

HB 313 passed the Senate 19-1 and the House 38-1, for a combined vote of 57-2. The bill is now on its way to Governor Mike Dunleavy to be signed into law.

The bill has an immediate effective date and is retroactive to May 1, 2020.

To view more information about the bill, click here.

For more information, contact Senate Majority Communications Director Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

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