JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska lawmakers have proposed spending approximately $ 700 million from a new federal aid package to help nonprofits, local governments, and tourism organizations.

The Alaska House of Representatives on Friday unveiled the plan, which differs from Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy’s plan last week, to use the funds to support business and infrastructure investments, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Last month, Congress passed the aid package that included $ 1 billion in economic aid to Alaska. Legislators suggested saving the rest of the money for spending next year.

The plan is to replace $ 455 million in federal grants with taxpayers’ money, adding $ 230 million to the state’s capital budget – which is used to fund construction and renovation projects – and $ 175 million to the dividend of the Standing funds would be released.

The plan also includes an allocation of $ 80 million for local governments, $ 30 million for nonprofits, $ 30 million for small business grants, $ 20 million for local economic development organizations to promote tourism in the state and more.

Senate President Peter Micciche, a Republican, said senators would prefer to reserve about half of the $ 1 billion for the next year. Debates on the budget are expected to start next week and take over the final weeks of the regular session of the legislature.

The plan must be approved by the Senate before it becomes law. Dunleavy could veto elements of the plan.

Issues that many lawmakers deemed important to address or regulate, such as Alaska’s long-term deficit and the future of the annual oil check paid to residents of the state oil fund, have been overshadowed. Some lawmakers previously said the influx of new federal funds should not be seen as an excuse for delaying difficult budget decisions.

Alaska Legislation is scheduled to adjourn May 19th.

The Associated Press