Alaska Senate passes resolution for short-term health powers for governor


The Alaska Senate today voted, 11-6, for a resolution supporting the short-term exercise of health powers by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, in order to protect Alaskans from the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the reopening of Alaska’s economy.  

Senate Resolution 2 backs a new, narrowly defined public health declaration, not to exceed 30-days, and calls attention to the social and economic harm of the pandemic on Alaskans.

“A short-term declaration will provide assurance to the Alaskans most adversely affected by the virus – the elderly, families with children, those with health complications, small business owners, and the unemployed – that this government will not compound the harm they’ve already suffered by jeopardizing critical aid. We’re not going to kick them while they’re down,” said Senate President Peter Micciche.

“The Senate is working overtime to give Governor Dunleavy and his team the tools they need to maintain our nation-leading public health response, secure federal funding and deliver much-needed assistance to negatively impacted Alaskans. As we turn the chapter on this pandemic, I am confident we can protect the public while encouraging an end to unnecessary government mandates and the reopening of our schools.”

Alaska has been a nationally recognized success story during the pandemic, ranking near the bottom of all U.S. states in COVID-19 deaths per capita and leading the nation in vaccination rates.   

“The administration has used the words ‘monitor’ and ‘manage’ to describe their handling of the present situation,” said Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer. “This tells me we are moving from a state of emergency to a state of recovery – which also means we are headed back to the Alaska we know. Rather than any additional declarations, I look forward to adjusting the particular statutes needed to give the administration the specific tools to allow us to transition from this recovery phase to a state of normalcy.”

Voting against the resolution was Sens. Elvi Gray-Jackson, Scott Kawasaki, Jesse Kiehl, Donny Olson, Lora Reinbold, and Bill Wielechowski.

SB 56, introduced by the governor, has no possibility of passing before midnight on Feb. 15 and has many provisions that give lawmakers pause. But federal funding could be jeopardized, and regulations may not be able to be suspended in order to meet the emergency.

The resolution basically asks the governor to just declare a new emergency for 30 days, and that would give the Legislature time to either deal with the provisions in SB 56 that need to be changed to satisfy critics of the “never-ending” emergency, or pass piecemeal legislation that address different aspects of the emergency.


  1. As long as the Governor does not force vaccinate and mask wearing I do not have an problem with him having the authority. He did state in the State of the State that he would not play politic with this Covid issue.
    For those who are paranoid over their own shadows and are frightened about my freedom to chose and not belong to the ccp of force everything on society, grow up and live your life without fear. I do not fear you.

  2. Over this last Summer I talked with a group of tourists visting from Europe looking at Star the Reindeer. Of course! I had to ask them how is Covid REALLY being experienced over in Europe, you know Europeans squished like Sardines unlike Alaskans. They told me the panic is all in the media. Its all media. Unfortunately Alaskans don’t read and don’t read quality literature to blindly accept their leaders word as gold and soak up everything Alaska media tells them as Fact and true. Cause by golly Alaskan leaders and their media can’t tell lies. Hahaha

  3. It is not the pandemic that has caused most of the harm and damage to Alaska’s economy, not to mention all the harm and damage to our society, and to each of us as individuals, nearly as much as it has been both the public and individual gross overreaction, irrational panic, and nonstop media-whipped hysteria in response to this mild pandemic that is fundamentally only a few times worse, and no more than that, than a common flu season.
    Does it make sense to cut one’s arm off in order to avoid a bee sting? That is what we as a society have done, and are doing, and it looks like will continue to do indefinitely.

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