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Alaska governor, lawmakers react to federal COVID-19 relief bill

The bill includes stimulus checks for many making below $75,000 per year and roughly $284...
The bill includes stimulus checks for many making below $75,000 per year and roughly $284 billion in small business loans. It also promises money for vaccine distribution.
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 3:20 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2020 at 3:33 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Sunday, an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed the U.S. Senate. The bill passed the Senate with a 91-7 vote and is now on its way to the president’s desk.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski applauded the bill saying, in part, “This legislation is not the end-all, be-all of COVID-19 relief, but it will provide Americans and Alaskans with much-needed support to help get them through this difficult time,”

“It’s been a very difficult time for our state and our country—and we are going to continue to face challenges in the months ahead,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan in a prepared statement. “But there is hope in both the near term and in the long term.”

Congressman Don Young said the bill came at a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19, “I am pleased that we have reached a deal on COVID relief and government funding. Full-year funding and resources to save lives and livelihoods is a significant accomplishment.”

This bill is set to include $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines free of charge to all Americans. The bill also approves $4 billion to support substance abuse programs.

According to officials, the agreement would provide a temporary $300-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers and renters who are facing eviction.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference Tuesday said information is still being learned about the large bill, but as that information is learned, Alaskans will be notified on how the bill will impact the state.

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