From Sen. Bill Wielechowski <[email protected]>
Subject COVID-19 Response Update - June 19, 2020
Date June 20, 2020 2:04 AM
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June 19, 2020

Senator
Bill Wielechowski
State Capitol, Rm 9
Juneau, AK 99801
800-550-2435
907-465-2435
[email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
1500 W Benson #315
Anchorage, AK 99503
907-269-0120
Contact My Staff
Sonja Kawasaki
Chief of Staff
Office: 907-465-2435
[email protected]
Nate Graham
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-269-0120
[email protected]
Erik Gunderson
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-269-0120
[email protected]
Contact Alaska's Federal Delegation
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Phone: 907-271-3735
Website [[link removed]]
Senator Dan Sullivan
Phone: 907-271-5915
Website [[link removed]]
Representative Don Young
Phone: 907-271-5950
Website [[link removed]]
Contact the Governor
Governor Dunleavy's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him
at [email protected] [[link removed]]
Visit the state website
www.alaska.gov [[link removed]]
________________

Dear Friends & Neighbors,
I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. The Kings have began to return to
Ship Creek and we have been having some beautiful weather! Please take a moment
to read my latest E-News with important updates on small business support, rental
relief, and a new legislative task force on therapeutic courts
Juneteenth
Today is Juneteenth, the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in
the United States. On this day in 1865, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln's
Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived
in Galveston, Texas with notice that the Civil War had ended, and that slavery had
been outlawed. Now more than ever, the significance of this day cannot be understated
and reminds us of how far we have come, but more notably of the work we have left
to do to ensure a truly just and equitable society. I encourage you to attend one
of the many Juneteenth celebrations taking place in Anchorage this weekend, including
at UAA this evening at 6 pm.
I have included some helpful links below if you wish to learn more about the history
of Juneteenth or attend a local event.

* History of Juneteenth [[link removed]]-
Smithsonian National Museaum of African American History and Culture

* UAA Juneteenth 2020 Celebration [[link removed]]

* Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson plans to introduce legislation making Juneteenth a state
holiday [[link removed]]

* Juneteenth Events in Anchorage [[link removed]]

Last weekend I attended the annual Chanshtnu Muldoon Park Cleanup.

Rental Relief Lottery
The State has authorized $10 million in CARES Act funding towards rental relief
through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. During the recent Legislative Budget
& Audit hearing, I raised concerns that of the $1.25 billion the state had received
to help Alaskans during this pandemic, providing only $10 million in rental assistance
was not a "proportional payout to average Alaskans." But this was all that was agreed
to and since this is insufficient to meet the needs of Alaskans. The Governor is
having a lottery to get these funds out, This is expected to assist 8,000 to 12,000
Alaskans. Until June 26th, Alaskans whose income has been hurt due to COVID-19 can
apply to enter a chance to receive up to $1200 in relief for mortgage or rent payments.
For those who meet the eligibility requirements and are chosen for the lottery,
the funds will be distributed directly to the lenders and landlords of program recipients
beginning in mid-July.
To apply, click HERE [[link removed]].
You may also call or text RELIEF to (833) 440-0420 toll-free.

Thank you to everyone in our community who has made the effort to keep Chanshtnu
Muldoon Park clean and welcoming.

Small Business Support
I have heard from several of our friends and neighbors in the community who own
or operate small-businesses that are concerned and have been hit hardest by the
COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are the heart of Alaska's economy and our community.
If Alaska hopes to weather this storm and still have an economy, we must support
our small businesses. Through CARES Act funding, the state has implemented a number
of programs to help provide assistance during this time of hardship but due to a
hastily implemented provision, many small businesses are caught in a technicality
making them unable to receive these funds. The only step to fix the Administration's
critical error is for the Legislature to reconvene and fix this mistake. Several
colleagues and [[link removed]]
I recently urged the legislature to return to Juneau to correct this [[link removed]]
but it is still critical to apply for these programs, which I detail below, as soon
as possible.
AK CARES Grant Program
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) and
Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority (AIDEA) are working with Credit Union
1 to provide small business relief through the AK CARES Grant Program. Grant amounts
can range from $5,000 to $100,000 depending on eligible COVID-19 related losses.
The application process period began June 1st, 2020, and recipients will be decided
on a "first-come, first-served basis" so it is critical that you apply as soon as
possible. The application is currently available on the Credit Union 1 website
[[link removed]]
and will run until one of the following is met:

* November 15, 2020

* The end of the Governor's COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

* Or the program's funding is capped.

Last weekend I attended the annual Chanshtnu Muldoon Park cleanup. Thanks to everyone
who came out to help!

Who Can Apply
Qualified applicants must be small businesses who are licensed and located in Alaska
with an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This includes C-Corps, S-Corps, Partnerships,
LLCs, Non-Profits, and Sole Proprietorship's. Businesses are required to have been
licensed and established by March 11th, 2020 with, on average, 50 or fewer full-time
employees.

Certain businesses are ineligible to apply, including:

* Marijuana-related businesses.

* Businesses that are a secondary income source or part-time endeavor.

* Out of State businesses.

* When the Legislature approved of this program, applicants who had qualified or
received any amount of funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL),
or other CARES ACT federal fund programs. were ineligible. As of publication of
this E-News, there's been talk of permitting some exceptions, so check the DCCED
website for the latest information.

* Businesses with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees (on average).

* Businesses that have filed for bankruptcy.

* Businesses who do not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria.
You can find additional information on the AK CARES Grant Program HERE [[link removed]]
as well as Frequently Asked Questions. [[link removed]]
EIDL and PPP Applicants
If you have already applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program,
you can follow up by connecting with the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service
Center at 1-800-659-2955. If you filed for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
and want to follow up on your application, connect with your lender directly.
If you still need to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, you can find a lender
and apply HERE. [[link removed]]
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.
You can find a full list of available business relief programs on the Alaska Small
Business Development website [[link removed]].

First meeting of the Therapeutic Courts Task Force

Therapeutic Courts Task Force
Therapeutic courts have proven to drop recidivism rates and to rehabilitate many.
There has been a strong desire by many to increase access and participation in these
courts. This last session I sponsored SCR 9 which the legislature passed to establish
a task force consisting of sitting legislators, individuals with professional and
personal experience with therapeutic courts. This task force will provide the next
Legislature with recommendations on steps to improve upon or expand therapeutic
court programs in Alaska. I am proud that this piece of legislation was passed and
am proud to chair this task force. I will provide key updates on the developments
and final recommendations that come from this task force.
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.
Warmly,
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Sen. Bill Wielechowski | State Capitol | 4th Avenue & Main Street | Juneau | AK | 99801
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