House passes immediate relief for laid off workers affected by COVID-19


HB 308 moves to Senate for approval a day after being introduced in the House

In response to the thousands of Alaskans who were laid off to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will make sure they can receive Unemployment Insurance as quickly as possible.


House Bill 308 passed the House this morning 38-0, just one day after being introduced.


“The speed at which this all came together reflects our commitment to make sure Alaskans have financial help for doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Representative Ivy Sponholz (D-Anchorage), chair of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. “To Alaskans laid off because of this crisis, we’re here for you. This is just the beginning of a number of measures that will provide financial relief to those impacted by this virus.”

HB 308 was introduced by the House Labor and Commerce Committee yesterday and was reviewed in the House Rules Committee in the evening. The bill:

  • allows Alaskans who are unable to work, or who are underemployed because of public health measures, to become eligible for unemployment benefits and help prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • waives the standard 1-week waiting requirement to begin receiving unemployment insurance benefits;
  • increases the weekly per-dependent benefit from $25 to $75, providing relief for families who have lost childcare and income simultaneously.


Members of my community and many Alaskans are concerned about losing paychecks resulting from the coronavirus,” said Representative Andi Story (D-Juneau). “Your federal, state, and local leaders are working hard to address this. HB 308 is one step to provide assurances to Alaskan families that we know your concerns and are working to help wherever we can.“


“In times of crisis, we have to cut the red tape so that Alaskan families who are worried about paying for groceries or housing know that they will have some help,” said Representative Gary Knopp (R-Kenai). “I’m pleased at the speed HB 308 passed the floor and grateful for the members who voted to help Alaskans out in these trying times.”



Joe Plesha
Press Secretary
Alaska House Majority 
(907) 465-6791


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