Gov. Mike Dunleavy convened his full cabinet for the first in person meeting since social distancing measures were implemented in 2020. It was a mask-free zone in Fairbanks, where he brought the heads of Alaska’s 14 departments together to discuss issues, including the Munson Creek Fire, budgetary and legislative priorities for the 2022 legislative session, and how to better connect Alaska’s government with its people, his office said.
“I am proud of the work my administration has carried out from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to where we are now – our departments coordinated efforts in all fronts to ensure the health and safety of Alaskans and the economy. While my administration has been fully operational throughout the past year and a half, holding distanced meetings and ensuring the continuity of essential state services, it is great to assemble in person once again,” he said. “Today, we reconvene our business in person as a unified force looking toward fiscal stability, better connecting with Alaskans, and establishing priorities for the forthcoming legislative session. I have all the confidence in the members of my team to operate effectively in serving the people of our great state.”
In addition to regular cabinet business, Dunleavy discussed the urgency the third special session has on the state’s financial health. The governor’s special session proclamation includes amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska, including limiting State on spending, protecting the PFD, and championing a dividend to be issued this fall. Additionally, the special session proclamation anticipates a possible infrastructure bill passing Congress, requiring legislative action to disburse funds for projects.
Dunleavy, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, and cabinet members spent the day prior to today’s meeting engaged with civic leaders and others in Alaska’s Interior, including the business community, tribal officials, the University of Alaska executive team, and local government leaders.
The meeting in Fairbanks is the first time a gubernatorial administration has conducted its cabinet business in Fairbanks in recent memory.