Group of lawmakers raise alarm about expiring public health emergency declaration

October 27, 2020

November 15th expiration would cost health care officials ability to respond quickly to pandemic

ANCHORAGE – A group of legislators wrote Governor Dunleavy today, highlighting concerns brought to them by the Alaska Municipal League and various healthcare
stakeholders about the November 15th expiration of the public health emergency declaration. Established by the Legislature in

Senate Bill 241
, the disaster declaration has allowed for more effective coordination and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving the state and local governments, as well as healthcare workers, critical tools to cut through red tape.

“We are very concerned with the ongoing pressure the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on families, communities, and our economy,” said Representative Geran Tarr“We believe by working together we can address these challenges and give Alaskans the certainty they need right now. They need to know that our leaders in State and local government are all working together to minimize the lasting damage. Extending the public
health emergency 
declaration will give Alaskans that certainty.

The letter also raises the issue of the unspent CARES Act funding that is scheduled to no longer be available after December 31st, should Congress not authorize an extension
and provide additional relief. The letter reads, “W
e must work together to find ways to support communities that have struggled to use their
CARES funds because of all the restrictions. We must be strategic and meet the need in as many ways as possible to prevent the lasting damage this pandemic is causing to our state.”

Attached: October 27 letter sent to Governor Michael J. Dunleavy, signed by House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, Rep. Geran Tarr, Rep. Harriet
Drummond, Rep. Zack Fields, Rep. Neal Foster, Rep. Sara Hannan, Rep.
Grier Hopkins, 
Rep. Andy Josephson,
Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, 
 Rep. Dan Ortiz,
Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, Rep. Andi Story,
Rep. Chris Tuck, 
Rep. Adam Wool, and Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky.


Joe Plesha
Press Secretary
Alaska House Majority
(907) 465-6791 

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