Relief for laid-off workers speeding through Legislature - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Relief for laid-off workers speeding through Legislature

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.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Nice job. This is a wonderful provision. I am glad that relief is forthcoming for those most affected by this tragedy.

  • What about the required work searches?

    • …and what about the couple billion a year we already give those corporations? One would think those corporations would step up.

      I guess they’re too busy buying their own stock and padding those multimillion dollar parachutes for their CEOs.

      All told the level of US fossil fuel subsidies is reported to be 20 billion every year.

      In 2018, the total revenue of the United States’ oil and gas industry came to about 181 billion.

      One would think those corporations would step up.

      I guess they’re too busy buying their own stock and padding those multimillion dollar parachutes for their CEOs.

  • There is only one unemployment office in Anchorage. And the estimate was for 20,000 now unemployed. There must be many offices to take on this task. One office will just not do.

  • The oil companies directly pay for 70% of the state government budget and employ 70,000 in Alaska and you are harping on them. Do you live in Washington?

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