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Alaska Legislature sends COVID-19 response bill to governor

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska lawmakers have agreed to retroactively extend the state’s COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration as part of an effort to maintain state eligibility for food assistance benefits and other federal aid dollars. The Anchorage Daily News reports the measure that would extend the declaration through 2021 was passed by the Senate and House Wednesday and sent to Gov. Mike Dunleavy. There’s no guarantee a disaster declaration will remain in effect the rest of the year; under the bill, Dunleavy could declare a disaster emergency no longer exists. However, the bill also would allow state health commissioner Adam Crum to declare a limited public health emergency for such things as vaccine distribution and to support eligibility for federal aid dollars.


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