It’s the latest step in a monthslong process across the University of Alaska system to close a budget gap driven by years of cuts to state funding and declining enrollment.
Alaska’s Legislature has been working to finish the state budget and pass bills in response to the coronavirus, and lawmakers could leave Juneau as soon as Friday.
There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding education right now. Schools statewide are closed until at least May 1, but that doesn’t mean instruction has ended.
At the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, the installation commander has declared a public health emergency due to an elevated risk on the base for “sustained community transmission.”
The state epidemiologist says some new cases in Anchorage indicate community transmission.
Analysts project that if the Legislature were to combine the dividend with COVID-19 relief, the state would have to make the first unplanned draw from permanent fund earnings.
Three of the people sickened have not been traveling.
State commissioners said the state can provide government services while also protecting workers.
The state wouldn’t have enough money in the Constitutional Budget Reserve to pay the roughly $3,000 PFD using the formula in state law.
Mitchel Howell said he was told the medical center is only testing people in high-risk groups, or if they’re quarantined at the hospital.