Alaska House passes H.B. 308, providing relief for workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic

JUNEAU, Alaska (KTVF) On Thursday, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 308, a relief measure for laid off workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

H.B. 308 provides unemployment benefits to Alaskans whose jobs were affected by COVID-19, and waives the one-week waiting period before unemployment benefits can be claimed. It applies also to dependents, increasing the weekly per-dependent benefit of affected Alaskans from $25 to $75.

The bill provides unemployment benefits to Alaskans whose jobs were affected by COVID-19, and waives the one-week waiting period before unemployment benefits can be claimed. It applies also to dependents, increasing the weekly per-dependent benefit of affected Alaskans from $25 to $75.

H.B. 308 enjoyed unanimous support, passing about 25 hours after it was introduced. It aims to alleviate the economic burden that Alaskans whose jobs are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are experiencing.

“We have learned that about 8% of Alaskans have just effectively lost their work in the last week due to public health measures that have been advanced to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” explains Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D – Anchorage), the bill’s sponsor.

“Those public measures are necessary but they have implications,” Spohnholz continues. “H.B. 308 allows for those people who are displaced because of COVID-19, either temporarily or even just partially, to be eligible for unemployment benefits.”

“I hope that we can get it through the Senate very quickly. There is a lot of support for this bill, and we want to make sure that Alaskans aren’t harmed twice: once by COVID-19 and then again by the economic impacts.”

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