• National lawmakers are still trying to work out details around whether it will be legislatively possible to send out new stimulus checks as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic anytime soon.
  • Meanwhile, one Alaska city has already worked out details of a stimulus plan of its own.
  • Because of how hard the coronavirus pandemic hit the city of Skagway, residents there (if they need the money) are getting checks of $1,000 for every member of their household through the end of 2020.

One of the most dramatic coronavirus stimulus proposals yet to help bring financial relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in recent days, thanks to a group of US Senators who’ve proposed an idea that probably has little chance of passage into law. However, as envisioned, it would take care of most Americans until the end of the pandemic, via $2,000 monthly checks until the virus is declared to be over (and, even then, the checks would continue for a few months beyond the end of the pandemic).

The idea of more stimulus checks, in general, has attracted a flurry of new legislative ideas that lawmakers have been floating over the last month or so, and one thing they all have in common is that none of them has crossed over into legislative reality as of yet. Meanwhile, that’s not the case for one lucky group of Americans in one specific American city — for them, not only is the idea of new stimulus checks already a reality, but they’ll be getting checks capped at $1,000 for every member of their household through the end of 2020 (provided they actually need the money).

The town is Skagway, in the southeast portion of the state of Alaska, where the Skagway Assembly approved a resolution establishing an “Emergency Assistance and Economic Stimulus Program. According to the text of the resolution, the community decided to take action and launch its own stimulus program partly due to the fact that Skagway is estimating a revenue loss of $160 million for the 2020 tourism season.

The local resolution was passed on June 4, and in order to get their share of the stimulus money, applicants will need to show proof of Skagway residency (indicating that they lived in the town on or before June 4). At that point, they’ll begin getting the monthly checks, with the amount dependent on how many people live in their household — a family of four, for example, could get $4,000 a month through the end of December.

The city was able to establish a stimulus program like this because it’s small, and also financially healthy. Steve Burnham Jr, a Skagway Assemblyman, told the public radio station KHNS that broadcasts to Alaska’s northern panhandle, that “We’re fiscally sound. I don’t know if other municipalities can do the same. I mean, I’m not saying that we’re able to pay every resident’s last salary and things like that, but we’re okay trying to put our resources to use to make that blow that everyone’s feeling a lot less. And we’re trying to do that as quick as we can.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.