House Republicans align with Senate in request for 30-day disaster declaration


Members of the Alaska House Republicans sent a letter today to Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy offering support for a limited 30-Day Disaster Declaration. 

Fifteen Republicans signed the letter, including Rep. Kelly Merrick, who made news this week by siding with Democrats to install a member of the Democrat-led coalition as House Speaker.

“Acknowledging many Alaskans immediate need for the resources allocated through a disaster declaration, the Alaska House Republicans support a new 30-day disaster declaration,” the letter reads.

“We intend that this temporary extension will lead to the good-faith negotiations needed for all Alaskans to get the help they need, while also providing a pathway for Alaska to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the months ahead, “we look forward to working with all parties to ensure Alaska recovers and maintains its strength and independence.”

Signers also include Mike Cronk, Steve Thompson, Kevin McCabe, Sara Rasmussen, David Nelson, Bart LeBon, Ken McCarty, Ron Gillham, Mike Prax, Sarah Vance, Tom McKay, Cathy Tilton, James Kaufman, and Laddie Shaw.

Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 11-6 to request the governor to sign a 30-day disaster declaration. Both actions are seemingly to assist the governor in continuing to manage the vaccination, testing, and general statewide response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two actions also acknowledge that Senate Bill 56 is note going to be passed in time this weekend before the existing disaster declaration expires at midnight on Feb. 15.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a statement: “In the absence of a declaration, my administration is fully prepared to manage the rollout and distribution of the vaccine to ensure anyone that wants a vaccination will be able to get one. We will also continue to respond to COVID-19 as we begin the process of getting back to normal as soon as possible by focusing on the economy and assisting Alaskans in staying healthy. As we move forward, we will notify Alaska and stakeholders of our plans.”

Earlier in the week, 20 House Democrats sent a letter to the governor supporting a continued disaster declaration.


  1. This is not the way democracy works.
    Either organize and pass legislation or step aside and let the private sector get back to work.
    If Dunleavy extends this “emergency” without proper passage in the legislative session then it will quickly go to court.

  2. It is refreshing to see the Legislature addressing issues of the AK Citizens. I hope this resonates and spreads throughout America.

    Party lines can no longer be the excuse for inaction because it is the individual Alaskans that pay the price of party line politics.
    There are always multiple trails to get to the outcome. Or in light of the season, the burly finish line.

    The outcome or ultimate strategic goal is simply bettering the quality of life for Alaskan citizens.

    One the flip side, and at the very least (which I do not support as the ultimate target) but becomes essential in decision-making about compromise, is bottom line standard of, “do no harm” to the citizens.

    Between the top line and bottom line targets, creates the measurement of success with a score card based on “How does my decision affect all Alaskan Citizens”?

  3. Jesus. Enough already.

    By every metric the virus is in remission. Cases, deaths, ect. Vaccines are underway.

    Time to put an end to this farce

  4. Stop the madness
    It going to be Here every year, just like the flu.
    The flu shot gets changed/updated for the new variant each year.
    COVID same thing, get your shot.
    Move on people get a life!!
    I’m not getting the shot

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