Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Governor Michael J. Dunleavy has signed into law SB 38, a $141 million disaster supplemental bill to assist certain response, recovery and relief efforts following the 7.1 earthquake that struck Southcentral Alaska on November 30, 2018.
The bill, sponsored by Governor Dunleavy, was signed into law at the State Emergency Operations Center at Joint Based Elmendorf-Richardson alongside Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Commissioner Brigadier General Torre Saxe, Department of Transportation Commissioner John MacKinnon, and other members of the state emergency response team
“This bill is going to be very important for Alaska – Southcentral Alaska – to make sure we get our bridges and roads up to speed. As springtime continues to uncover potential infrastructure issues, this relief money is going to help tremendously,” said Governor Dunleavy. “I want to thank the legislature for their timely, quick action on this bill, and want to thank the people in this room for your hard work and the fact that you are looking out for Alaska every single day. And to Alaskans, once again, we continue to work with FEMA, and will continue to work with our federal delegation. You are not forgotten – you are the forefront of our discussions and our actions.”
Importantly, Governor Dunleavy’s legislation authorizes special appropriations to aid in recovery efforts associated with the Southcentral Earthquake, including state funding for federal match requirements, authority to receive federal disaster relief funding and capitalization of the Disaster Relief Fund.
SB 38 includes $73.5 million ($65 million federal and $8.5 million state) for the Alaska Department of Transportation for response, repair and rebuilding state facilities and surface transportation; $58.9 million ($37 million federal and 21.9 million state) to recapitalize the disaster relief fund; $7.9 million to the Department of Natural Resources for fire suppression activity; and $1 million to the Department of Labor for disaster unemployment assistance benefit payments.
While an important step for overall response and recovery efforts, this legislation does not necessarily aid Alaskan families and homeowners seeking individual assistance – a program largely conducted in partnership with FEMA and federal stakeholders.
SB 38 unanimously passed both the Alaska State Senate the Alaska House of Representatives in late March -- becoming the first bill signed into law by Governor Dunleavy.