June 19, 2020

Bill Wielechowski

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

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,

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  


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.

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.
 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 I recently urged the legislature to return to Juneau to correct this 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 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 as well as Frequently Asked Questions.

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.

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.

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.



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