From Sen. Donny Olson <[email protected]>
Subject ULU News - CARES Act Funding & End of Session Updates
Date May 23, 2020 12:51 AM
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Senator [mailto:[email protected]]
Donald Olson [mailto:[email protected]]
Member:
Senate Finance Committee
Staff:
Elizabeth Rexford
Contact Information:
Toll Free Year Round:
1-800-597-3707
Interim: May-December:
P.O. Box 1630
Nome, AK 99 [[link removed]]762
(907) 465-3707
LEGISLATURE
ON THE WEB:
WWW.LEGIS.STATE.AK.US [[link removed]]
LEGISLATURE ON TV:
GAVELALASKA.ORG [[link removed]]
CONTACT OTHER
ELECTED OFFICIALS:
Senator Dan Sullivan
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5915
*
Congressman Don Young
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5978
*
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Anchorage Office:
907-271-3735
*
Office of the Governor
Anchorage Office:
907-269-7450

31st Alaska Legislature

May 22, 2020

Legislature Adjourns After Ratifying CARES Act Funding
The legislature reconvened this past Monday to ratify the CARES act funding for
Alaska. Although the $1.2 billion in coronavirus aid heavily favored urban over
rural areas, swift action was required by both bodies to prevent delays in community
& program disbursements due to ongoing litigation.
No legislator had the ability to present amendments due to both time constraints
and the dire situations our Alaskan communities find themselves in. Overall, I
commend the legislature in convening and ratifying the legislation so Alaskans
can begin receiving the federal funds. The Senate adjourned after ratifying relief
aid plans on Wednesday, May 20th, day 121 of the legislature.
Below is a breakdown of the CARES Act and how federal funding was allocated as of
this past week.
CARES Act Funding Breakdown
This past week, both bodies passed HB 313 before adjournment. The federal funding
includes the following breakdown:
$568.6 million to aid communities and local governments impacted by COVID-19. [[link removed]]
(pages 4-7 of hyperlink breaks down disbursement amounts by communities and dates)

* The money will be distributed in a model that follows the precedent set by
the longstanding Community Assistance Program also known as the Revenue Sharing.

* $750,000 for Alaska Regional Development Organizations.
$290 million to provide relief to Alaska small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
[[link removed]]
(hyperlink takes you to the website to apply for business aid)

* The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development will distribute
grants that could possibly help 10,000 small businesses.

* Eligible businesses are those unable to obtain loans through the Small Business
Administration Paycheck Protection Program or other federal aid.
* AIDEA will operate the program through a contract with Credit Union 1.
* The grants will go to small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees.
* The grants can be up to $100,000.

* Non-profit organizations will likely be eligible for the grants.
$100 million in economic stimulus for Alaska fisheries.

* Funds can go to commercial fishermen, fishing guides, and charter operators.

* More information about how these funds can be used is coming with federal
guidance.
$51.6 million directed in the federal CARES Act to be used for rural airports and
other programs managed by the Alaska Department of Transportation.

* $14 million in FY 20.

* $35 million in FY 21.

* The CARES Act included $10 billion for airports across the country.
$45 million to help stabilize K-12 classrooms impacted by COVID-19.
$42 million for child nutrition programs that serve children forced out of school
by the pandemic.
$29 million to address rural transportation costs, including the Alaska Marine Highway
System.
$10 million for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to help prevent homelessness
[[link removed]].
(link takes you to AHFC's statewide homeless housing program website)

* By helping people make mortgage and rent payments, Alaskans will be less
likely to become homeless.

* According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people
experiencing homelessness are at higher risk of moderate to severe symptoms
of COVID-19.
$5 million for direct financial aid grants to help University of Alaska students,
and to help minimize systemic impacts of COVID-19 on the university system.
$3.6 million in critical funding for state, local, and tribal governments to provide
a range of programs including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts,
crime prevention and education, corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and
more.
PFD Distribution
The State moved this year's Permanent Fund Dividend distribution date of $1,000
up to July 1, 2020, three months earlier than usual. This decision was made due
to the economic hardships experienced by many due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SB 241 ensures that any individual receiving state or federal public assistance
will not be adversely impacted by this year's PFD or any other recovery rebate/cash
payment.
Small Business Grants
Due to circumstances resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our small businesses
are facing economic hardships while many are facing permanent closures. Small businesses
represent 80 percent of our employees in Alaska; it is every more important to keep
our largest employers up to date about what resources are currently available.
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development has put together
and is continually updating a list of Economic Recovery Resources for Businesses
[[link removed]].
On the website you can find information on Emergency & General Assistance Grants
[[link removed]],
Emergency & Businesses Loans [[link removed]],
and Tax Incentive Benefits [[link removed]].
Additionally you can find a directory of state, federal and private business-focused
organizations providing assistance to Alaskans currently navigating the business
climate here [[link removed]].
Unemployment Insurance
As I write this, our communities and families throughout the state are still under
tremendous pressure following unprecedented job losses due to both the pandemic
and the global fallout in the price of oil. As we are on the road to recovery and
the economy is slowly opening back up, I'd like to send out another reminder to
those experiencing financial hardships due to the wide-spread job losses.
Applying for UI online is fast, easy, and secure. You can apply for UI benefits,
online, any day and time of the week. Go to my.alaska.gov [[link removed]].
You will need the following information:

* Social Security Number.
* Current mailing and physical address.
* A telephone number where you can be contacted.
* Most recent employer's name, address, and phone number (as shown on your pay
stub).
* Dates of employment and the reason you are no longer working, for example (quit,
fired, lack of work, on-call, or working part-time). It is important to provide
your last, actual, physical, day of work, when completing the online application.
* Total hours worked and gross wages earned in the last week you worked.
* Information about any retirement income you are receiving.
* *If you served in the military in the past 18 months, you will need to fax copy
4 of your DD214.
To begin, go to my.alaska.gov [[link removed]].
Under Services for Individuals select Unemployment Insurance Benefits. You will
need to enter your username and password. If you are new to myAlaska, you will
need to create an account (see instructions on the next page of this help guide).
If you forgot your username or password, select Forgot my username or Forgot my
password. You will be sent an email to the original email address you used to
set up your myAlaska account, with a link to change your username or password.
If you no longer have access to the original email, you will need to contact the
UI claim center at (907) 269-4700 or (888) 252-2557 between the hours of 10 a.m.
and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and ask a claims representative to reset your
myAlaska account so you can create a new account.
I hope we continue to flatten the curve and keep numbers low, but even then we will
need to remain vigilant for quite awhile to prevent it flaring back up. Let's continue
to be supportive of one another as our state is on the road to recovery. I appreciate
your understanding and patience while we are trying to do as much as we can under
these circumstances.
Best wishes and be safe,

Senator Donald Olson
Toll free: 1.800.597.3707
Email: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
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