By Mark Sabbatini
Juneau Empire 

State says it will be June before backlog of food stamp applications is cleared


The governor last Friday signed an emergency funding bill to help resolve the crisis-level backlog of food stamp applications from needy Alaskans. The Legislature had approved the measure days earlier.

The budget bill includes $3.1 million for overtime pay and to hire about 30 new employees to help with the applications backlog at the Division of Public Assistance, which processes food stamps and other benefits including Medicaid.

Deb Etheridge, the division’s director, told lawmakers that the end of the backlog that has affected at least 8,000 Alaskans beginning last September appears to be i...

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