Dear Neighbors,

Next week, the full Alaska House of Representatives will consider the proposed operating budget for the State of Alaska. I’m expecting the floor debate to last much of the week due to consideration of budget amendments brought forward by members of the House Minority. While I’m sure some of these amendments will be thoughtfully written and pertinent to the budget, if the past is any guide, many of them will not be relevant to the budget. Instead, many of the budget amendments will be focused on culture war issues and based on grievance politics rather than legitimate budget needs.  

Despite the baseless criticisms that will be leveled at the budget proposal next week, House Bill 281 is a good bill that includes a lot of things important to you and your family.

  • The budget proposal fully funds public education in FY 23.
  • $57 million in one-time funding for public education in Alaska. 
  • $1.2 billion to early fund public education for FY 24.
  • An increase of $2.5 million in pre-K funding for this year and another $2.5 million next year.
  • School Bond Debt Reimbursement is fully funded at $79 million statewide.
  • $395 million for the Higher Education Investment Fund.
  • The Community Assistance Program is fully funded at $30 million.

I’ve long been a strong advocate for direct cash assistance from the State to the people of Alaska in the form of Permanent Fund Dividends. The budget proposal that will be on the House floor next week includes funding to send nearly every Alaskan a check this year of $2,550. That includes a 2022 PFD of $1,250 and a $1,300 energy relief check. With oil prices well above $100 per barrel, the State of Alaska can afford to help offset the high costs of gasoline, heating fuel, and other energy sources. Returning some of the State's windfall to the people through an energy relief check is the right thing to do and I’ll be voting to keep it in the budget when the debate on the House floor begins next week. 

I’m here for you. I welcome your input and ideas. Call my office at (907) 465-2095 or send me an email to Rep.Chris.Tuck@akleg.gov.

Warm regards,
Anchorage Municipal Election
The Anchorage Municipal Election is coming up on April 5.

  • Around 210,000 ballot packages were mailed out to registered voters. 
  • Ballots can be mailed back to the Municipality of Anchorage or dropped off in one of the 18 secure drop boxes located throughout Anchorage. 

Voters can cast a ballot in-person at one of three vote centers. The vote centers will be open every day until election day on Tuesday.

  • City Hall, 632 West 6th Ave., Room #155
  • Eagle River Town Center, 12001 Business Blvd., Community Room #170
  • Loussac Library, 3600 Denali St., in the Assembly chambers.

Information on the upcoming election is available online at muni.org/elections or by calling 907-243-VOTE(8683).
AK-ARPA Business Relief Program
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development is currently accepting applications for the AK-ARPA Business Relief Program.

  • The AK-APRA Business Relief Program was initially funded with $90 billion in federal COVID-19 pandemic relief money.
  • Approximately $34 million in federal funding is still available for distribution.
  • Businesses that have already received help through the program are not eligible for additional support.
  • To be eligible, businesses must have filed their 2019 and 2020 taxes and must have held an active State Business License as of January 1, 2021 unless exempt.
  • Businesses must be able to demonstrate a 50% or greater loss in net income.
  • Business must be Alaska-based. A sole proprietorship business must be owned by an Alaskan resident.
  • Must be a for-profit business.
  • Business revenues must primarily be generated in activities and or services performed in Alaska.
  • Reported Gross Annual Revenue (GAR) must be between $10,000 and $50 million in 2019.
  • Businesses must have experienced a decrease of at least 50% in net income between 2019 and 2020 due to COVID-19 public health emergency.

The deadline for the second round of applications is April 15. 

  • Applications must be submitted online through the MyAlaska system.
  • Help with a MyAlaska account is available by calling 1-866-377-0126.
  • For assistance with an application, call the AK-ARPA hotline at (907) 917-3720 or email ARPAGrant@jedc.org.
Seafood Processors are Recruiting Workers for the 2022 salmon season
The seafood processing industry is currently recruiting over 3,200 workers for the 2022 fishing industry in Alaska.

To help fill these jobs, many seafood processors are working cooperatively with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development on recruitment efforts.

More information is available at the Seafood Employment Office, which is located in the Anchorage Midtown Job Center.
Help for Homeowners
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is using $50 million in federal funding to help Alaskan homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.