Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink on Friday, March 27, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink on Friday, March 27, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Congressional delegation says billions in relief coming to Alaska

Everything from student loans to stimulus checks

Alaska is set to get its share of the $2 trillion stimulus package recently approved by Congress, the state’s congressional delegation said during a teleconference Monday evening.

“All elected officials are working very closely on this unprecedented crisis,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaking from Washington, D.C. The delegation discussed the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, (CARES) that will inject vast amounts of funds into America’s economy.

The bill will provide roughly $1.2 billion to states for “coronavirus-related matters,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Those funds could be used for things as diverse as additional funding for municipalities who are lacking revenue because of a diminished tourism industry or a school district purchasing laptops to enable students to learn remotely.

Funds can be made available “as long it is tied back to the coronavirus,” Murkowski said.

Checks would be sent out to individuals, Murkowski said, but when that will happen is an open question. Congress had initially wanted checks to go out as soon as April 6 but were told by the U.S. Treasury Department that date was not feasible. Those who file or filed their 2019 taxes electronically were likely to receive their payments sooner than paper filers, Murkowski said.

“The heart and soul of this legislation is the $350 billion guaranteed loans through local banks and credit unions,” Sullivan said. The intent was to have small businesses maintain payroll, pay rent on buildings they occupy and continue to pay benefits to employees. The legislation defined small business broadly, Sullivan said, to help expand the reach of the funds.

While the CARES Act was the largest stimulus package in the history of the United States, it may still be necessary for Congress to provide additional payments, Sullivan said.

“We’re going to analyze the impacts of this bill,” Sullivan said. “Implementation is going to be really important, and then we’ll look at if we need more funding.”

The number of COVID-19 cases in the state had risen to 119 as of Monday evening, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said. The City and Borough of Juneau announced the capital city’s fifth case was confirmed Sunday evening. Seven people who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized, Dunleavy said.

Even with massive stimulus packages, Congress and the Legislature may need to appropriate even more funds to help people weather the economic fallout caused by the crisis.

“There is much in this CARES act that is designed for individual benefits,” Murkowski said. “My sense is that people have been impacted so quickly, so dramatically, when we say prepare and save, none of us could have anticipated we would be here talking about a global pandemic.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

Information on the coronavirus is available from websites for the City and Borough of Juneau, the State of Alaska at and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with flu-like symptoms are encouraged to contact their health care provider.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Oct. 2

Here’s what to expect this week.

Screenshot / Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel 
Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media.
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Faith Rogers’ loved ones, from left to right, James Rogers (father), Michelle Rogers (sister), Harmony Wentz (daughter), Maria Rogers (mother) and Mindy Voigt (friend) sit with Faith’s three dogs in their family home. Faith Rogers, 55, of Juneau was found dead along a popular trail on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.
‘It’s shocking’: Family hopes for answers after suspicious death of loved one

“She wanted to make things beautiful, to help make people beautiful…”

People work together to raise the Xa’Kooch story pole, which commemorates the Battle of the Inian Islands. (Shaelene Grace Moler / For the Capital City Weekly)
Resilient Peoples & Place: The Xa’Kooch story pole — one step toward a journey of healing

“This pole is for the Chookaneidi, but here among us, many clans are represented…”

A bracket fungus exudes guttation drops and a small fly appears to sip one of them.( Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Water drops on plants

Guttation drops contain not only water but also sugars, proteins, and probably minerals.

A chart shows what critics claim is poor financial performance by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, especially in subsidizing private industry projects intended to boost the state’s economy, during its 55-year existence. The chart is part of a report released Tuesday criticizing the agency. (MB Barker/LLC Erickson & Associates/EcoSystems LLC)
AIDEA’s fiscal performance fishy, critics say

Report presented by salmon industry advocates asserts state business subsidy agency cost public $10B

Police vehicles gather Wednesday evening near Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei, also known as ]]Brotherhood Bridge Trail, while investigating a homicide. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Police: Woman was walking dogs when she was killed

JPD said officers are working “around the clock” on the criminal investigation.

Most Read