Alaska legislative committee plans spending of federal COVID aid
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska House Finance Committee is meeting to determine how best to spend about $1 billion in incoming federal aid.
Over the last couple weeks, the committee has been hearing presentations and deciding how the funds could best be allocated.
The funds are part of a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan passed by Congress in March.
According to District 5 Representative Adam Wool, this money, unlike in previous packages, is being distributed by population.
“Fairbanks should do pretty well. It’s the second or third most populated area in the state - and the difference is the CARES money that came in, the state distributed that on its own. The governor came up with his own formula,” Wool said, adding, “that wasn’t based on population. That was sort of based on lost revenue.”
In addition to the billion dollars being allocated by the state, some money is being distributed directly by the federal government.
Some of these funds are expected to go to K-12 schooling, and recovery for the city of Anchorage.
The federal government has not yet released guidelines for spending the money.
Until those guidelines are released around May 11th, where the funds will go can’t be finalized.
Bart LeBon, State Representative for District 1 said, “We need to be careful about this, because if we get ahead of ourselves, and we spend money that we discover later we spent it improperly, then we could have the call back of repaying the money - and we would like to avoid having to deal with that type of situation.”
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