May 20, 2020

Bill Wielechowski

State Capitol, Rm 9  
Juneau, AK 99801  
1500 W Benson #315  
Anchorage, AK 99503  

Local Medical Facilities

Alaska Veterans Administration
1201 North Muldoon Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
Phone: (907) 257-4700
Providence Express Care - Tikahtnu
1118 North Muldoon Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
Patients First Medical Clinic
6307 Debarr Road Suite C,
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
Phone: (907) 333-7425
Urgent Care Medical Clinic
5437 E Northern Lights Blvd #1,
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 333-8561
Vera Whole Health - (For Anchorage Municipal Employees)
1450 Muldoon Rd, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
Phone: (907) 313-7550
Mountain View Urgent Care
3521 Mountain View Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 868-1105
Medical Park Family Care
2211 E Northern Lights Blvd,
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 279-8486
Emergency Room
Alaska Regional Hospital
2801 Debarr Road,
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 276-1131
Alaska Native Medical Center
4315 Diplomacy Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 563-2662
Providence Medical Center
3200 Providence Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 562-2211

Contact My Staff

Sonja Kawasaki
Chief of Staff
Office: 907-465-2435

Nate Graham
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-269-0120

Erik Gunderson
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-269-0120

Contact Alaska's Federal Delegation 

Senator Lisa Murkowski
Phone: 907-271-3735 

Senator Dan Sullivan
Phone: 907-271-5915

 Representative Don Young
Phone: 907-271-5950 

Contact the Governor

Governor Dunleavy's Anchorage  office may be reached at  269-7450, or e-mail him at [email protected]

Visit the state


Dear Friends & Neighbors,

The legislature reconvened from recess this week to consider a bill to ratify the governor's spending plan for $1.145 billion in federal funds provided to Alaska last month under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security (CARES) Act. Although I would have preferred to see more direct assistance to individuals and families, I am hopeful communities, schools and small businesses will see immediate relief from this funding. In this newsletter are some highlights and other important updates.

I passed my COVID-19 screening at the Capitol all three days.

Legislature Reconvenes from Recess to Address Federal Aid

Last March the legislature finished the budget and recessed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April the State of Alaska received $1.145 billion in federal funds under the congressional CARES Act. The funds are to be spent on COVID-19-related costs that Alaska has incurred or may still, due to the health pandemic and its economic consequences.

Under a statute allowing the governor to decide the spending of additional, non-budgeted federal dollars, Governor Dunleavy submitted proposals for the CARES funds to the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee (LB&A). LB&A is a joint committee of ten House and Senate members which, under the statute, can approve the proposals to immediately effect the governor's spending plan. Such proposals are known as Revised Program Legislatives (RPLs). I serve on LB&A as an alternate member, attend all the meetings, and follow the issues closely.

The Alaska Constitution grants the legislature sole appropriations authority. This allows legislators to represent the needs of their constituents and their districts and debate the merits of various budget items, and it provides for a methodical public process. The governor may veto or reduce items that the legislature has budgeted. The Constitution clearly provides for separation of powers and checks and balances, ensuring that control over state spending is not concentrated in just one branch of government.

During LB&A discussions, several of us had strong concerns that at least some RPLs violated the legislature's appropriations authority, and were advised just that by our legislative attorneys. Still, LB&A approved the governor's RPLs earlier this month. Two days after the final approvals, a Juneau resident filed a lawsuit contending that the process violated the legislature's appropriations duty.

Because of the lawsuit, the entire legislature reconvened this week to try to pass a bill to remedy the constitutional problems before the end of the 120-day session. Today, we passed HB 313, ratifying the governor's CARES funds spending plan. We also adjourned the 2020 legislative session.

While HB 313 was not an appropriations bill, and I'm still concerned that the process that got us to this point was unconstitutional and could be invalidated, my colleagues and I decided that the funds must be disbursed as soon as possible to help Alaskans and local governments grappling with the costs of the COVID-19 crisis.

On May 2nd, I participated in the annual Russian Jack Park clean up. 


The legislature approved $86.8 million in CARES funding RPLs for our schools. Of the funds, $44.9 million was approved for emergency grants to local education agencies that are significantly impacted by coronavirus, or to support other education-related entities within the state deemed essential for carrying out emergency educational services. An additional $41.8 million was approved for school nutrition programs.


The legislature approved $50 million in economic stimulus for Alaska's fisheries. The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) is expecting to receive $50 million to distribute to Alaskan fishery participants and will coordinate closely with the Department of Fish and Game to determine distributions. DCCED does not know the exact impact of COVID-19 on the Alaska fisheries but is expecting substantial reductions in revenue for the charter/guide and commercial fishery sectors and potential limitations on harvest opportunities for subsistence fisheries. The CARES funding will benefit Alaska fishery participants who have incurred losses as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19.

Local Government / Municipalities

Local Governments and Municipalities will receive relief funding from two different RPLs, totaling $567 million. The legislature approved $311 million for direct community assistance and $257.5 million for community distribution. Communities receiving these payments will be required to certify compliance with federal guidance regarding expenditures of the CARES funds.

The Municipality of Anchorage will receive $157 million under this HB 313 allocation item.

Small Business Relief Grants

The legislature approved $290 million in CARES relief for small businesses. DCCED and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) will offer emergency relief to Alaskan small businesses. The application period for this program is expected to open on May 26, 2020.

Eligible Entities 

Small businesses including C-Corps, S-Corps, Partnerships, nonprofits (501(c)3 or 501(c)19), or sole proprietorship's with a current Alaska Business License may be eligible when they:
  • Did not qualify or were otherwise unable to obtain SBA PPP or EIDL funding
  • Were in operation for at least one year prior to March 11, 2020
  • Have on average 50 or fewer employees
Who Is NOT Eligible to Apply:
  • Marijuana-related businesses
  • Secondary income sources
  • Out-of-state businesses
  • Businesses that  have received funding or have an approved application for SBA's PPP or has EIDL funding in excess of $5,000
  • Businesses with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Businesses that have filed bankruptcy.
  • Businesses that do not meet the eligibility. criteria outlined above.
Grant Amounts & Eligible Expenses

Grant amounts will be $5,000 to $100,000 based on eligible expenses. The amount of the award will be based on the following COVID-19 emergency-related eligible expenses during the period 8 weeks prior and 8 weeks following the application date, including:
  • Payroll costs and expenses
  • Payment of any short term (less than 24 months) or credit card debt incurred by the applicant to support the applicant's business during the emergency
  • Rent or mortgage payments (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender)
  • Utility payments
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business
  • Business-related equipment
  • Expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses
Application forms and a schedule of eligible expenses will be available May 21, 2020.

The program is expected to go live starting on May 26, 2020. Please start gathering your information supporting your eligible expenses and make sure your business license is current.

Homeless Assistance

The legislature approved $10 million of CARES funding for homeless assistance. The funds will allow the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) to make grants to organizations. These grants may be used for purposes such as rental assistance and homelessness prevention.

Upcoming State Elections & Voting Information 

Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer announced last week that the Alaska will not switch to a vote-by-mail system for the state primary election this August 20. Alaskans with underlying health conditions, our seniors, and those residing in the same household as these individuals shouldn't have to choose between the health of themselves and their families and exercising their right to vote.

Despite the lieutenant governor's decision, it is important for Alaskans who are concerned about in-person voting this year to be able to avoid it. If you would still like to vote by mail you must apply for an absentee ballot. To apply for an absentee ballot and vote from your home, please click on this LINK.

Alaska Help Line

Alaskans who need help or connection to information about services, including related to COVID-19 impacts, can dial 2-1-1 from their phones. You can also reach out via email to [email protected] or dial 1-800-478.2221.

This service is managed by the United Way which has expanded the call center hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, due to increased calls related to COVID-19.

As Alaska looks to reopen it's economy with careful consideration toward monitoring and preventing a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, I am hopeful Alaska will be able to maintain our relatively low number of cases while safely bringing our economy back online. As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact my office at (907) 269-0120 or simply reply to this email.



Sen. Bill Wielechowski, State Capitol, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801
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