The Alaska House passed HB 308, which will waive work-seeking requirements for those collecting unemployment insurance, extending that requirement to 120 days.
The bill has the support of Gov. Mike Dunleavy and passed the House 38-0, with two members excused. 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.
The bill has a companion measure in the Senate and is expected to move quickly to the floor of the Senate by Friday.
The bill reflects the Trump Administration’s signing of H.R. 6021, which is an emergency relief package driving unemployment benefit relief to states. It required Alaska to develop some flexibility in its own legislation.