Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to reporters about his budget vetoes at the state Capitol in Juneau, Alaska Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has suspended out-of-state travel for state employees. His chief of staff, Ben Stevens, cited a need to control spending amid oil market volatility. Concerns with the new coronavirus have roiled markets along with a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil. Alaska relies on oil revenue and earnings from its oil-wealth fund to help pay for government expenses. Stevens, in a memo dated Monday, said a hiring freeze also will be in effect but would not apply to positions essential for protecting health and safety of Alaskans.