Alaska Senate OKs budget bill with virus response funding

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that includes additional funding to help the state respond to coronavirus concerns.

The measure includes supplemental spending for such things as Medicaid, the state ferry system and firefighting costs.

But it also has $15 million in state funds for public health emergency programs aimed at the coronavirus, and it would allocate $8.5 million in cruise ship funds as grants to communities visited by ships to respond to and mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

The Legislature previously approved about $4.1 million in state funds, and authorized the receipt of federal funds to help respond to the virus.

The bill also includes $150,000 for the Alaska Municipal League to assist with implementation of the Real ID program in rural Alaska. Real IDs are special licenses many people nationwide will need to board domestic flights and enter some federal facilities as of Oct. 1.

The measure next goes to the House for a concurrence vote. Provisions of the bill require three-fourths support.

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Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/us/2020/03/18/alaska-senate-oks-budget-bill-with-virus-response-funding.html

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