Thursday, March 26th
Emergency Unemployment Benefits Signed by the Governor Wednesday
Just last Wednesday, as the chair of House Labor & Commerce Committee, I introduced HB 308. Five days later, the bill passed the legislature and was signed into law on Wednesday. Rarely has the legislature moved this quickly. It is truly a testament to the fact that we are all working together to provide Alaskans with relief during this crisis.
HB 308 provides emergency unemployment benefits for Alaskans who find themselves unemployed or underemployed as a result of COVID-19, was approved by the legislature Tuesday and signed by the governor last night. It makes Alaskans underemployed because of COVID-19 public health measures eligible for unemployment with no waiting period, increases the per dependent benefit to $75 each.
HB 308 will be complimented by additional funding from the federal Corona Virus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which allows for up to another $600 per week for Americans not working right now.
If you have been affected by COVID-19 closures and lost work, you can access the State Unemployment Insurance Program online at Once on the homepage, click on ‘Unemployment Insurance Benefits.’ Depending on your location, you can also call for assistance:
  • Anchorage residents (907-269-4700),
  • Fairbanks residents (907-451-2871),
  • Juneau residents (907-465-5552), and
  • Alaskans who live anywhere else in Alaska (1-888-252-2557).
Thank you to Representative Zack Fields and his team for their work on this measure and to the entire legislature for supporting HB 308.
COVID-19 Update
As of March 25, 59 Alaskans have tested positive for COVID-19. 1,860 people have been tested for coronavirus in Alaska so far.
You can get the latest information on the number of tests and cases in Alaska at the State of Alaska's Department of Health & Social Services website.
COVID-19 Response Resources
The Anchorage School District is continuing food distribution of pre-packaged breakfast and lunch meals for students from established food service sites. Additionally, mobile food service routes will remain scheduled to accommodate students and families who are unable to access the distribution sites.
Students who require nursing support can contact ASD Health Services at (907) 742-4136 or email
Food Assistance & Unemployment Benefits
Although Public Assistance offices are closed to the public in order to minimize exposure and transmission of COVID-19, local offices will continue to provide critical services over the phone and via email, as well as accepting hard copy applications.
  • To apply for public assistance benefits, apply online at or print and complete this application and submit it via email (local office emails are listed on the last page of the application) or drop it off in person at any Division of Public Assistance office.
  • To apply for unemployment benefits, go to and scroll down to "Unemployment Insurance Benefits." Complete the application online.
  • To apply for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP) benefits, complete the application online. Note that the deadline to renew or re-certify SNAP benefits has been extended for six months for all deadlines in March-June.
  • To apply for Medicaid, go to or to submit an online application.
Help for Small Businesses
The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has developed a resource center for Alaskan small businesses that are being affected by COVID-19. Additionally, the Alaska SBDC has made all on-demand workshops free to everyone. View their full listing of workshops online.
Some of their tips for small businesses include:
  1. Document everything happening with your business as a result of COVID-19.
  2. Track and record all financial changes for future aid and relief program applications.
  3. Partner with a delivery service, if possible.
  4. Utilize social media to promote your products and services.
More Resources for Alaskans
The Alaska Public Interest Resource Group (AKPIRG) is curating an evolving list of resources that includes local assistance information, health care, housing, and utility information, mental health resources, donation opportunities, and more.
COVID-19 Updates & Information:
These are trying times, and things are evolving rapidly. Please reach out to my office at (907) 465-4940 or email me at with questions, concerns, or ideas. Be well, and wash your hands!
As always, keep in touch!
Phone Number: (907) 465-4940