The Alaska Municipal League wants the Alaska Senate Majority to apologize for the wording in Senate Resolution 2, which requested Gov. Mike Dunleavy to issue a new disaster declaration, since the prior declaration was set to expire.
Dunleavy never issued that new disaster declaration and the resolution is effectively dead.
The league, which represents 165 local governments around Alaska, says that the Senate Majority “appears to blame school districts for depression, child abuse, and food insecurity. The Senate appears to blame local governments for thousands of job losses and massive economic harm. Both statements are grossly inaccurate, and surprising to come while recognizing that we remain in the midst of a pandemic.”
“We want to be clear – it was not local action that closed schools or reduced economic activity – it was COVID-19. It has been the threat and reality of a global pandemic reaching into our communities and disrupting the lives and livelihoods of Alaskans. Together we have done our best to weather this storm,” the organization wrote.
“The Senate’s resolution fails to recognize the necessary role for local action, with few statewide measures in place. The Governor has been clear throughout that the State depends on local control to take the necessary mitigation efforts that didn’t make sense at a statewide level.
“The Senate’s resolution fails to differentiate between how 165 cities and boroughs have acted, and how 54 school districts have all acted. It cannot be said – it is quite frankly wrong – that all acted the same, or even that the majority acted the same. Alaska has placed a priority on local control during its emergency response, and Alaska’s Senate appears to question the premise,” the organization said.
“We request that Senate leaders issue an apology and correction, to right this wrong,” according to the organization’s statement.
Earlier this week, Nils Andreassen, the executive director and lobbyist for the Alaska Municipal League, threatened to sue the state over the state not full funding education and also threatened a lawsuit over school debt reimbursement.
Many Alaskans have been under the impression that the State of Alaska closed down schools and businesses. The resolution clarifies that for those who may remain confused about it.
The report on the presentation to Senate Finance Committee by Andreassen can be found in Must Read Alaska’s Club MRAK edition of Feb. 18, 2021, linked here.