House approves unemployment benefits bill

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - House Bill 308 allows Alaskans to apply for unemployment benefits if they have lost work and are being forced to stay at home and care from children displaced from school.

    Rep. Ivy Sponholz said there has been a 700 percent increase in applications for unemployment benefits in the last month in Alaska.

    "Alaskans need help now and this bill provides critical relief for these families," she added.

    The bill also makes the state eligible to receive federal unemployment insurance grants authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act past by Congress last week.

    The bill waives the one week waiting period.  It also increases the weekly allowance for dependants from $25 to $75.

    Sen. Click Bishop, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said this is an important bill, "Alaska workers have been paying into our unemployment insurance trust fund with every paycheck and it is our duty to allow them to access those benefits they have paid for if they are unable to work due to the coronavirus outbreak."


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