News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Coghill
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2020

Legislature Extends Emergency Declaration, Provides Economic Relief

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JUNEAU – In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Alaska Legislature early this morning passed a bill extending Governor Mike Dunleavy’s public health disaster emergency declaration to November and providing economic relief to Alaskans.

“This bill gives the governor broad authority to protect Alaskans,” said Senator John Coghill, R-North Pole. “The Legislature is watching the situation closely and has made provisions for the next few months for assistance where we anticipated a need.”

The legislation protects Alaska’s first responders and healthcare providers, establishes a temporary path to increase the number of licensed professionals, and helps Alaska’s small businesses weather the economic impacts.

“The hard-working men and women of this state will not weather this storm alone,” said Senator Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “Along with the federal economic relief package, this bill and others from the state will ensure no Alaskan in need is left behind.” 

Included in the bill are strong protections for Alaskans experiencing economic harm from COVID-19, including moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures, and defaulting on state loans.

“In this time of crisis, the Legislature stands united with Governor Dunleavy in doing all we can to protect Alaskans from this coronavirus pandemic,” said Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. “Effectively fighting back against this virus will require a collective effort by our first responders, healthcare professionals, and local, state, and federal government, as well as everyday Alaskans. I have faith in the people of Alaska. Together, I believe we will persevere through this crisis.”

Senate Bill 241 passed the Senate 16-1 and the House 34-1, for a combined vote of 50-2. The bill is now on its way to Gov. Dunleavy’s desk to be signed into law.

To view a more comprehensive list of the provisions in SB 241, click here.

For more information, contact Senate Majority Communications Director Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

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