Legislators have ratified spending proposals included in over $1 billion for Alaska as designated in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
House Bill 313, approved on Wednesday, May 20, by lawmakers making a special return trip to Juneau during the novel coronavirus pandemic, ratified spending proposals requested by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and passed by the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee earlier in May.
The spending package includes:
- $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 by a vote of 19-1 and the House 38-1 and went to Dunleavy for his signature. Once signed the bill will be immediately effective and retroactive to May 1.