State employees are on travel restrictions as of today, with no travel out of state permitted for State business.
In addition, the Governor’s Office has implemented a hiring freeze due to the sudden drop in the price of oil.
The order came from a memo issued by Chief of Staff Ben Stevens, who pointed to the volatility in global oil markets as he announced an “immediate suspension of out-of-state travel for ALL employees and an immediate hiring freeze to reduce the impact on the state general funds.”
The hiring freeze applies to all positions, except for those necessary to protect the health and safety of Alaskans, he said.
Departments may request a waiver from the hiring freeze due to extraordinary circumstances, which he outlined in his memo.
The freeze does not apply to Alaska State Troopers, corrections and probation officers, and other public safety personnel, or employees at the state’s 24-hour institutions.
Stevens “strongly encouraged” several agencies to adopt their own out-of-state travel restrictions and hiring freezes. They include Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and others.
Senate President Cathy Giessel also put out a notice to the Senate, restricting Senate travel and discouraging personal travel out of state, but her restriction was to “protect our legislative family and the function of the legislature while we are in session in Juneau,” referring to the current outbreak of the Wuhan virus.