Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) (seen above) recently submitted two bills – SB 241 and HB 414 – to Alaska’s legislature outlining the appropriations plan for initial funding the state expects to receive from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in November 2021.
[Above photo via the Alaska Governor’s Office]
The bills appropriate capital and operating funds to state agencies and to some non-state organizations that will collaborate amongst each other, local governments, and Alaska native entities to implement IIJA funding and pursue future federal funding opportunities.
“While the federal infrastructure bill doesn’t provide the state with pots of unrestricted infrastructure funds that Alaska can spend as we see fit, it does contain substantial funding to improve our roads, airports and water infrastructure, and new investments in bringing broadband to the state,” Gov. Dunleavy said in a statement.
“In addition, the bill provides competitive opportunities for Alaska to modernize our electric grid, pursue clean energy technology, to develop our substantial critical minerals and rare earth elements,” he added.
The governor’s bills would distribute Alaska’s share of IIJA funds across five categories. Highlights of the governor’s proposed IIJA allocations include:
- $560 million in additional federal funds for surface transportation, rural water and wastewater programs, veteran services, and cybersecurity grants.
- $37 million for federal weatherization programs and Alaska’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance program.
- $28 million for investments in modernizing the electric grid, developing clean hydrogen, and a research demonstration facility for Alaska’s substantial reserves of critical and rare earth minerals,
- $5 million to stand up an Alaskan ‘infrastructure office’ to coordinate and consolidate efforts with all recipients of IIJA funds.
- $4 million to construct housing for teachers and public safety personnel in rural communities not connected to the road system.
- $3 million to the Alaska Federation of Natives to continue the navigator program, a joint effort with the state on securing all funding available in the IIJA legislation.