They may oppose the governor in every other way, but all 20 House Democrats (including the two undeclared representatives and one Republican who caucuses with Democrats) signed and sent a letter to the governor today in support of a new disaster declaration.
The letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy said that although the House doesn’t have a governing majority, the group believes it’s imperative “to formally express our support for continuing the disaster declaration for an additional 30 days.”
The letter signals to the governor that half of the House will not buck him if he goes ahead to declare a new disaster, the more likely outcome, since he alone cannot extend the current disaster declaration.
He has stated that he is not prepared to declare a new disaster without the Legislature’s support.
Many Republicans in the House and Senate are not in favor of extending the current disaster declaration through the fall, as requested by the governor. But Democrats want the disaster declaration.
When it expires on Sunday night at midnight, Dunleavy could file a new disaster declaration, which would only last 30 days before either expiring, or being extended by the Legislature.
Signers of the letter include Speaker Pro Tem Josiah Patkotak, who is undeclared of Utqiagvik, and Daniel Ortiz, also undeclared, of Ketchikan. Louise Stutes of Kodiak is the Republican who left the Republican caucus years ago and shows no sign of returning.
The House is split 20-20 between Republicans and the “other” category.