Economic recovery: Parnell/Begich report says ‘get cash out to Alaskans’


With more than 70,000 Alaskans now having applied for unemployment, getting more cash directly to Alaskans is one of the first of several recommendations by the Governor’s Alaska Economic Stabilization Team.

The team has given Gov. Mike Dunleavy a short-term action plan as the foundation for stabilizing Alaska’s economy and building a long-term economic growth.

The recommendation summary document minces no words on the effect of devastating shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus:

“Alaskans who still have jobs to go back to want to do so as soon as they can do so safely. This week, the Administration announced initial measures in a phased approach to begin re-engaging Alaska’s workforce. While going ‘back to work’ is an option for some, a huge swath of Alaskans are now unemployed and many Alaskan businesses are struggling,” the report says.

The team, led by former Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican; and former Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, is advising these immediate steps:

  1. Provide more cash directly to Alaskans (including making emergency payments to Alaskans at fixed amounts across about five months, including the federal stimulus).
  2. Provide substantially more cash to savable Alaska businesses. “Savable” is defined as those small to mid-sized businesses with solid management, a good business model, but with cash-poor balance sheets. Capital can be made available via loans, loan guaranties, and investment capital.
  3. Develop and communicate the Administration’s plan for the efficient and effective allocation of the $1.25 billion in federal stimulus dollars authorized and appropriated by the legislature.
  4. Prioritize and communicate to the federal delegation the state’s infrastructure priorities for potential inclusion in a federal infrastructure stimulus bill.
  5. Transition Recommendation: Create the Office of Economic Stabilization within the Governor’s Office. The office would serve as the clearinghouse or point of contact for Alaskans to access information about COVID-19 emergency benefits and programs offered by federal, state, and local governments. Ideally, the Office should be led by someone capable of working both from a constituent relations perspective (and interfacing with the Governor’s constituent relations team), and with agencies and commissioners.

Each of the ideas offered by the stabilization team, whose members spoke to more than 2,000 Alaskans over the past few weeks, requires decision-making by elected officials, including the governor and the Alaska Legislature.

[Read the entire set of recommendations in detail at this link.]


  1. Fraud, waste and abuse. This whole issue with those two stinks to high heaven. I didn’t know that deadbeat Begich had a thought of anything past the 12th grade. Parnell must be working over time trying to figure out how to spend and keep it a secret. More government offices to add to the fraud, waste and abuse. Yes, it will be a part of that plan in the Dunleavy Admin. The waste so far is pretty extreme and going strong. Too bad the average person doesn’t have better accountability of it. Trump was smart to create payments for direct deposit. The garbage bag of funds the Democrats and others have created is huge and there is no benefit to those who have businesses when it comes down to another government office being created to give two politicians a job. Dunleavy…why don’t you grow up and get real!!!

    • You are a very disturbed person. I bet you sleep with a weapon under your pillow, coffee cans full of money buried out in the yard, and recycle used toilet paper. In these unprecedented times, it is always wise to put the best, experienced executives in charge of the issues. AK with it’s unbalanced budget, the house majority and the nurse stashing away raining day money, peeps nipping at Mike’s heals on the recall, people sick and/or going to die, there are limits to what one man can take, and you aren’t helping. Be part of the solution!

      • Actually… My great grand father used the backyard bank. 1929… He went to the bank to withdraw some of his money. The teller told him they were out of money. “That’s OK. I’ll be back here just before closing time, with a pistol and shotgun. I will be making a full withdrawal or none of you are going home tonight”. Good to his word, he showed up and the bank had all of his money counted out for him to withdraw. He never stepped foot into a bank ever again.

        Best and experienced at what? Spending money? Looting the state’s coffers?

        People sick and going to die? Sounds like fear mongering communist er- democrat crazy talk to me.

        Oh, I keep forgetting; you’re the resident token communist troll on here.

  2. Most small businesses don’t need loans that make their already thin margins even more untenable. If government is going to distribute money, make it in the form of grants to those businesses that were deemed ‘unessential’ and forced to close by government edict. I guess the essential liquor stores and pot shops won’t need grants but the bar, restaurant and tourism businesses have taken a big and in some cases fatal hit.

    • Good idea! I’ve said all along that having a loan hanging over your head and making you worse in debt is no favor for a small business. It should be grant programs.

    • Let’s keep pumping money into nail salons, tattoo parlors and gyms. That’s what will MAGA!!!
      Bottom feeders at least keep the aquarium clean.

  3. So to best accomplish all this, we just need to create another high-paying bureaucratic crony position, to gobble up some of those funds, so that person can then tell us that we need money and where to get it? – Got it. Problem solved.

  4. Number one priority for these funds should be food security for all Alaskans. Then housing. I watched a video of Las Vegas. Cars backed up for miles to receive free food. People that never thought they would be in that situation. We may not be far from that here.The state needs to maintain the funds to insure the health and welfare of its residents. If these protections are in place than move on to dispersing funds to individuals and loan, aid programs. Handing out limited resources with no accountability at this time is a terrible idea. I am not a socialist, just a realist.

  5. Alaska may want to offer free ferry rides back to the lower 48 for those wishing to leave, cause let’s face it the economy we had before the covid “plannedemic” is not gonna be like the economy we have in the next few years.
    We don’t need to give Sean and Mark more money to tell us we need money…what the people need is their full dividends that have been garnished for years.
    This is just more smoke and mirrors to find ways to prop up their buddies companies accross the state.

    • Steve,
      That one way ticket has been traditionally called a “blue ticket”. Used many times to rid communities of undesirables. Alaska should be printing those “blue tickets” by the bushel. Ferry, air, auto, those “tickets” should be welcome to the leftists that will see their dream of a socialist Alaska evaporate. Boo-hoo. Good riddance.

  6. The “duo” makes it sound like they want to give us our stolen PFD’s. Notice the fed $$ is ‘included’ in what they want to “give” us. Parnell–ok. Begich—NO way. Don’t believe a word of it. Begich was neck deep in framing Ted Stevens. He went to the senate on fraud. See how long he lasted. One term. Long enough for the real Begich to fly his leftist colors in support of every whim of Obama’s. One of America’s arch enemies, in my opinion. Wonder who will be in charge and part of “Office of Economic Stabilization”. Surely it wouldn’t be Begich. Would it?

  7. So they all agree the best thing is to give us back our PFD they stole?

    Sadly, no. It looks like rather than do that, rather than return a rightful shareholder check to every qualified Alaskan, that is decidedly NOT an entitlement or welfare program, they want to set up a bloated government system, appoint a bureaucracy, that is decidedly a welfare and entitlement program, and keep that going and do that for however long.

    All this, to keep from giving Alaskans back what their government stole from them.

    Far and away the best thing that could be done, let alone recommended, is just that the PFDs stolen over the last 5 years be given back. However, It’s too easy, it’s too smart, and it’s too ethical, for this legislature, So it’ll never happen.

  8. Here’s a thought for y’all to shoot down: Alaska has billions in a rainy day fund, aka the Permanent Fund. Why not use an infinitesimal part of it to save the small businesses and the unemployed people who are drowning? Use the PFD office to disburse it in small enough amounts so it’s not used for Hawaiian vacations or recreational drugs (including alcohol), to “feed the hungry and care for the widows” as required by the Good Book. It would be made up in a few years by oil royalties etc., but a dead person can’t be resuscitated, nor the small business recued from the dumps. Surely, people’s lives matter most in our present scenario.

    • Joyce,
      I empathize with you and your opinion. I like the option of asking the recipients of public aid (boosted unemployment) to help with Alaskan food production. It should be charity where needed, a helping hand in feeding each other and securing our home for our families, in every case. Very foolish not to take advantage of Alaskan agriculture to make Alaska self sufficient, at least food wise. We have another crisis looming. People without jobs, no matter the “boosted” unemployment, are increasingly in danger of losing it all. Alaska needs to get back on it’s feet. Enough is enough of the “lockdowns” and authoritarian conduct by the mini-politicians intoxicated by momentary power. They are trying to extend their “15 minutes of power” to the utmost. To do that, anything goes, for them.

  9. Property tax bills will be coming due this summer. I have submitted ideas on how to postpone these bills for homeowners, owners of business property and owners of business personal property. With interest rates at an all time low it would be cheap for Municipalities to postpone these taxes with tax anticipation bonds or revenue bonds letting people pay the taxes over the next 20 years. I have submitted this idea to numerous people but to date no response. Taxes due this year are in the neighborhood of 1 billion dollars. That amount injected into the economy or that businesses don’t have to pay would be huge. For those that have mortgages where the tax is collected and paid by banks this would not apply. That is probably one half of the amount.

  10. Since these are revenue bonds they should not effect the borrowing capacity of the cities.

  11. Partly unemployed middle class Alaskans, who pay into State UI and are net Federal taxpayers, are being denied the $600 Federal Assistance due to how the State calculates benefits. I am eligible for UI due to partial unemployment, I have lost 20% of my income due to having my hours reduced one day a week, due to the Covid-19 virus, but my income, while well below the Median for Anchorage, is still high enough that my reduced State UI amount is “$0.” I have no problem with that math, however, since the State will not issue a “zero State dollar” benefit, they are also not issuing the $600 Federal dollar benefit. This is an easy, Gubernatorial fix, requiring no change to the State UI calculus or law, simply direct the State Division of Unemployment during this Emergency to issue the Federal benefit to those who qualify for CARES Act unemployment. Essentially “$0 State plus $600 Federal.” It would cost the State nothing and is an easy way to boost our economy and help tax-paying Alaskans harmed by the shutdown, while not leaving Federal funds on the table. $600 a week is like an extra Dividend every pay period. That’d be a great way to boost the economy.

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