Early this morning, the 31st Alaska State Legislature recessed after finishing work on the FY 2021 Operating and Capital Budget, the FY 2020 Supplemental Budget, and extending the Public Health Emergency Disaster Declaration for COVID-19. Governor Mike Dunleavy appreciates the fact that lawmakers worked quickly to pass a budget and, that certain funding was included to combat aspects of the pandemic and the associated economic fallout. However, the Governor feels the legislature missed the mark by not including a cash infusion that many leading economists believe should be implemented as quickly as possible.
“Thousands of Alaskans are out of work through no fault of their own, due to the government pausing most economic activity to slow the spread of the disease,” said Governor Dunleavy. “It would appear lawmakers missed the opportunity to create a cash infusion from the earnings reserve account into the hands of Alaskans, like hairdressers and restaurant workers, that could have happened in as little as two weeks. I am quite frankly puzzled why they would not do that.”
“The vast majority of economists worldwide, as well as the President of the United States, and almost every member of congress understand how a quick injection of cash into the hands of workers will do more to stabilize the economy than any other approach at this time. My administration will continue to work closely with Alaska’s congressional delegation and the White House on how to maximize the benefit of the federal emergency relief package here in Alaska,” added Governor Dunleavy.