Legislators want answers on pandemic funds

A group of Alaska legislators asked the Dunleavy administration on Wednesday, Nov. 17, for an explanation as to why federal funds issued during the COVID-19 pandemic for childcare, public health nursing positions and other functions have been held up by the state.

“The money that was provided by our federal government during the pandemic gave a lifeline to families as businesses as they continue to weather the storm of COVID-19,” said Rep. Liz Snyder, D-Anchorage, co-chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee. “Unfortunately, some of the funds that Alaskans are relying on aren’t getting where they need to go. We want to work with our partners at DHSS and in the governor’s office to make sure our constituents get the answers and relief they need.”

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, funding enables eligible school children to pay for lunches, childcare relief funding helps parents go back to work, and filling our public health nursing positions allows health care providers to deliver the care that every Alaskan deserves, said Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, D-Bethel, who co-chairs the House Health and Social Services Committee. It is crucial that these funds go where they are needed as soon as possible, she said,

The letter was also signed by Reps. Zack Fields and Ivy Spohnholz, both D-Anchorage.