'We join Alaska’s healthcare leaders in urging the Governor to start leading and declare a temporary 30-day disaster declaration.'
JUNEAU — Following the introduction of the Governor’s bill S.B. 3006, House Health and Social Services Co-Chairs Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel) and Rep. Liz Snyder (D-Anchorage) released the following joint statement:
“In April, the Legislature delivered House Bill 76 to the Governor’s desk, a bill that authorized a disaster declaration through the end of 2021, ensuring hospitals and providers had the flexibilities they needed to continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, upon receipt, the Governor overturned these flexibilities and declared the disaster over.
While we are relieved the Governor is acknowledging the crisis the delta variant is posing to our state’s fragile medical system, his actions today do not provide the immediate relief that our healthcare system so desperately needs.
During the COVID-19 surge last winter, the Governor issued three temporary, 30-day disaster declarations on November 15, December 15, and January 15. Alaska’s healthcare leaders have advocated for another temporary, 30-day declaration to get the immediate regulatory relief they need, while being able to assess the evolving dynamics of the pandemic.
The Governor should not spend unnecessary additional State resources to fix this issue when he has already stated his authority to reissue these powers if needed. There is no need to further politicize pandemic response when our healthcare providers are in crisis. We join Alaska’s healthcare leaders in urging the Governor to start leading and declare a temporary 30-day disaster declaration.”