Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State Address is scheduled for 7 pm on Jan. 25, according to sources in the Administration. The annual address is given annually as an update to the Legislature and the people of Alaska about the general condition of the state and how the governor intends to address problems and opportunities in the coming year.
In 2021, the address was given remotely for the first time in Alaska’s history, due to pandemic and resulting shutdown conditions in the Capitol.
This year, it appears the address will be in person the House Chambers in Juneau, where it is traditionally. Both the House and Senate usually crowd into the one chamber, and the gallery of seats for the public is taken by members of the Dunleavy Administration, his family, and select guests who he wants to introduce. The address is often about 40-50 minutes long and is broadcast on the Legislature’s channel, AKleg.gov. There is always a chance that the Legislative Council will change its mind and shut down the in-person speech, if a number of legislators become contagious with Covid-19.
This year’s remarks may be focused on opportunity, as Alaska comes out of an extended recession followed by a global pandemic that has taken the lives of 955 Alaskans.
The State will be having to manage millions of federal dollars coming for infrastructure projects, which means there will be an abundance of jobs, but a lack of workers and spiking inflation caused by the federal money printing operation. Dunleavy will probably talk about public safety and the increased State investment in Village Public Safety officers, as well as the general state of crime in Alaska, which has been trending down since Gov. Walker left office and Dunleavy reversed his soft-on-crime legislation, SB 91.
And he’ll most likely speak to his goal to fix the mess that is the Permanent Fund dividend, which has become Alaska’s biggest nightmare ever since Gov. Walker cut the dividend in half. He will probably challenge the Legislature to not use “election year” as an excuse for not getting anything done.
(Pictured above, Dunleavy giving the State of the State Address in 2020, with then-Senate President Cathy Giessel, and then-House Speaker Bryce Edgmon in the background.)