Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - There are hundreds of millions of dollars contained in the operating budget sent to Governor Dunleavy by the Legislature intended to respond to the pandemic.
There have been rumblings that the Governor might opt to send out checks to individual Alaskans since lawmakers didn't sign off on his idea for additional Permanent Fund Dividend checks.
Juneau Representative Sara Hannan was asked on Action Line what she is hearing about that possibility. She responded by saying it all depends on how much you trust social media as an accurate sense of people's concern. "I think there is some confusion about what money can be used for what."
Lawmakers included about $680 Million in the operating budget for COVID response. Lawmakers requested a monthly report on what those funds are used for. "I think the expectation and intent is that it's being used for COVID related expenses," Hannan said. "Now that is different and I had a few people complain that you didn't give me my back PFD."
Hannan explained why her House Majority and the Senate Majority didn't go along with the extra dividends demanded by the Governor. "I think one of the clear points to talk about is not everybody has economically been harmed in the wake of COVID 19. Everybody is emotionally stressed and everybody's life has changed, but not everybody is in the same economic situation."
Hannan said some people's opportunity to earn was shuttered overnight with no ability to work from home. "So there are some people who are at work and there are people working from home and I think just giving everybody an extra PFD doesn't necessarily directly the impact the COVID response issue."
The Governor is expected to make his decisions on the spending plan no later than the middle of this month.
More from News of the North
Gov. Dunleavy to extend, alter interstate travel mandate
Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced upcoming changes to a state health mandate that requires 14 days of self-quarantine for interstate travelers.
CBJ requires public to wear face coverings in libraries, public buses
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Juneau, the public is now required to wear cloth face coverings on Capital Transit buses, CAPITAL AKcess vans, and all three branches of the Juneau Public Libraries.
Large cruises banned in Canada at least until Oct. 31
Ottawa, Ontario (AP) - Large cruise ships will continue to be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Southeast Alaska has 57 COVID-19 cases so far
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - In Southeast Alaska, there are six active cases, 50 recoveries, and one death due to COVID-19.
BRH Emergency Department to alter visitor policy next week
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Starting Monday, June 1 at 6 a.m., Bartlett Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department will join the rest of the Bartlett campus in allowing non-isolation patients one visitor.
CBJ resumes water shutoffs, finance charges except for hardship customers
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The City and Borough of Juneau has extended the deferral of utility bills and waiver of finance charges and shutoffs for customers who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Alaska virus relief excludes companies that took federal aid
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska small businesses affected by the coronavirus that have already received federal aid will not be eligible for a state grant program.
Bank seeks to liquidate RavnAir Group assets to cover debts
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s largest rural airline is working to prevent a liquidation of its assets sought by a bank representing lenders seeking payment of $90 million in debt.
Seafood companies plan to merge parts of their operations
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods Inc. have announced plans to merge parts of their operations under a new company.
Assembly looking to extend 14-day quarantine requirement if Governor doesn't
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Assembly is interested in extending the requirement that travelers to Juneau quarantine for 14 days once they arrive here.
DHSS reports 5 new COVID-19 cases, 1 is in Juneau
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The daily report from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services found the state added five new cases of COVID-19 on Friday morning.
Man drowns in Cordova lake
Cordova, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska State Troopers said Zakary Zeigler, 21, of Cordova fell out of a kayak and could not get back in.