SB 241: "An Act extending the March 11, 2020, governor's declaration of a public health disaster emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; relating to the powers of the director of insurance; relating to standing orders issued by the chief medical officer; relating to professional licensing; relating to telemedicine and telehealth; relating to board of nursing fingerprint requirements; relating to the 2020 primary and general elections; relating to permanent fund dividend applications; relating to automatic voter registration; relating to tax; relating to shareholder meetings; and providing for an effective date."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 241 01 "An Act extending the March 11, 2020, governor's declaration of a public health 02 disaster emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; relating to the powers of the 03 director of insurance; relating to standing orders issued by the chief medical officer; 04 relating to professional licensing; relating to telemedicine and telehealth; relating to 05 board of nursing fingerprint requirements; relating to the 2020 primary and general 06 elections; relating to permanent fund dividend applications; relating to automatic voter 07 registration; relating to tax; relating to shareholder meetings; and providing for an 08 effective date." 09 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 10 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 11 to read: 12 FINDINGS. (a) The legislature finds that
01 (1) in December 2019, a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 was first 02 detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People's Republic of China, causing outbreaks of the 03 disease COVID-19 that has now spread globally; 04 (2) the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a 05 public health emergency on January 31, 2020, under 42 U.S.C. 247d (sec. 319, Public Health 06 Service Act); 07 (3) to date, 50 states have confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 08 confirmation of community transmission of COVID-19; 09 (4) on March 11, 2020, the commissioner of health and social services 10 certified to the governor that there is a high probability that COVID-19 presents a credible 11 threat of an imminent outbreak of the disease in the state, meeting the definition of disaster 12 under AS 26.23.900(2)(E); 13 (5) on March 11, 2020, the governor issued a declaration of a public health 14 disaster emergency under AS 26.23.020 in anticipation of the spread of COVID-19 to the 15 state; 16 (6) in the March 11, 2020, disaster declaration, the governor found that a 17 statewide response under AS 18.15.390 is required to address the public health disaster 18 emergency, and authorized the commissioner of health and social services and the adjutant 19 general of military and veterans' affairs to take all actions necessary to address the public 20 health disaster emergency; 21 (7) on March 12, 2020, the Department of Health and Social Services and the 22 governor announced that the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in an individual in 23 Anchorage; 24 (8) additional cases of COVID-19 are being diagnosed across the state; 25 (9) the chief medical officer and the commissioner of health and social 26 services have determined that it will take months of monitoring and active public health 27 management, including closing public facilities, limiting public events, and establishing 28 quarantine and isolation protocols and enforcement under AS 18.15.390 to contain the spread 29 of COVID-19; 30 (10) the adjutant general of the Alaska organized militia has determined that it 31 may be necessary for the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, under the guidance of
01 the commissioner of health and social services, to use the department's personnel and other 02 resources to institute actions under AS 26.23.020, including provisions to perform or facilitate 03 performance of disaster emergency services. 04 (b) Based on the findings in (a) of this section, the Thirty-First Alaska State 05 Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the state to extend the governor's March 11, 06 2020, public health disaster emergency declaration, and all the powers granted under 07 AS 26.23.020 and AS 18.15.390 until March 12, 2021. 08 * Sec. 2. AS 21.06.080(d) is amended to read: 09 (d) If the director determines that a catastrophe has occurred in this state and 10 in good faith believes that the governor or the President of the United States has issued 11 or is about to issue a declaration of disaster, the director may take the action that the 12 director considers necessary to assure that a contract of insurance already issued will 13 be honored under the terms of the contract. Actions that the director may take include 14 emergency orders permitting the immediate licensing of adjusters to facilitate handling 15 of claims, permitting a licensee to open or close an office, permitting a licensee to 16 move or remove a record as required by the existence of the catastrophe, or permitting 17 the issuance by an insurer of checks or drafts drawn on an out-of-state bank in 18 payment of a claim. Until a declaration of the disaster has been lifted, the director may 19 take action to respond to a disaster without a hearing. An action taken under this 20 subsection may not remain in effect more than six months from the date that the 21 director determines that a catastrophe has occurred or one year after the governor or 22 President of the United States has issued a declaration of disaster unless, after a 23 hearing, the director determines that the action is still necessary to respond to the 24 disaster. 25 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 26 read: 27 PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER EMERGENCY; EXTENSION OF DISASTER 28 EMERGENCY. (a) Under AS 26.23.020(c), the Thirty-First Alaska State Legislature extends 29 to March 12, 2021, the declaration of a public health disaster emergency issued by the 30 governor on March 11, 2020, including any orders, proclamations, or regulations issued under 31 AS 26.23.020 and actions taken by the Department of Health and Social Services under the
01 authority granted to the department under AS 18.15.390. 02 (b) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, if the commissioner of health and social 03 services certifies to the governor, based on a reliable source, that there is no longer a credible 04 threat of an imminent outbreak of COVID-19, or a present outbreak of COVID-19, the 05 governor shall issue a proclamation that the public health disaster emergency identified in the 06 governor's March 11, 2020, proclamation no longer exists as of a specified date. 07 (c) The governor shall submit a proclamation issued under (b) of this section to the 08 revisor of statutes, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and 09 the lieutenant governor. 10 * Sec. 4. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 11 read: 12 STANDING ORDERS. (a) The chief medical officer shall issue standing orders for 13 public health agents and health care providers related to essential public health services and 14 functions and in response to conditions of public health importance that are related to 15 COVID-19. Standing orders shall be effective until retracted or for the duration of the public 16 health disaster emergency declaration issued by the governor on March 11, 2020, and 17 extended by sec. 3 of this Act. 18 (b) The chief medical officer is not liable for civil damages resulting from an act or 19 omission in issuing a standing order authorized under this section if the standing order 20 (1) is issued to health care providers; 21 (2) is required to mitigate the COVID-19 public health disaster emergency; 22 (3) contains sufficient information in support of the need for a standing order; 23 and 24 (4) provides sufficient education or training required to properly implement 25 the standing order, including training manuals, video recordings, or other reasonable means. 26 (c) Except as provided in (d) of this section, a public health agent or health care 27 provider who takes action based on a standing order issued by the chief medical officer is not 28 liable for civil damages resulting from an act or omission in implementing the standing order. 29 (d) Nothing in this section precludes liability for civil damages as a result of gross 30 negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. 31 (e) In this section, "essential public health services and functions," "health care
01 provider," and "public health agent" have the meanings given in AS 18.15.395. 02 * Sec. 5. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 03 read: 04 REPORTS. Beginning May 1, 2020, until March 1, 2021, the governor shall 05 electronically submit, on the first day of each month, a report to the president of the senate 06 and the speaker of the house of representatives that identifies all actions taken by the 07 governor, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Military and 08 Veterans' Affairs, and other state agencies directly related to the prevention, control, and 09 status of COVID-19 cases in the state. The report must include an explanation, without 10 disclosing information that would identify individuals, of any activities related to the isolation 11 or quarantine of individuals because of COVID-19. 12 * Sec. 6. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 13 read: 14 PROFESSIONAL LICENSING. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 15 during the public health disaster emergency declared by the governor under AS 26.23.020 on 16 March 11, 2020, and extended by sec. 3 of this Act, a professional or occupational licensing 17 board listed in AS 08.01.010 or, with regard to any profession regulated by the Department of 18 Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, the director of the division that 19 regulates business and professional licensing may, to the extent necessary to respond to the 20 public health disaster emergency, grant a license, permit, or certificate on an expedited basis 21 to an individual who holds a corresponding license, permit, or certificate in another 22 jurisdiction. 23 (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and to the extent necessary to respond 24 to the public health disaster emergency, the board, commission, or director, as applicable, 25 may take additional action necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare, including 26 (1) temporarily waiving or modifying the continuing education requirements 27 required for licensees to renew a professional license, permit, or certificate in 2020; 28 (2) regulating the scope and duration of any license, permit, or certificate 29 issued under this section; 30 (3) requiring any individual granted a license, permit, or certificate under this 31 section to arrange and agree to supervision, in-person or by other means, by an individual who
01 holds a license, permit, or certificate in good standing for the applicable profession or by an 02 administrator of a facility licensed under AS 47.32. 03 * Sec. 7. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 04 read: 05 TELEMEDICINE AND TELEHEALTH. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of 06 law, during the public health disaster emergency declared by the governor under 07 AS 26.23.020 on March 11, 2020, and extended by sec. 3 of this Act, AS 08.64.170 and 08 AS 08.68.160 do not apply to a health care provider who is providing treatment; rendering a 09 diagnosis; or prescribing, dispensing, or administering a prescription, excluding a controlled 10 substance listed under AS 11.71.140 - 11.71.190, through an audio-visual, real-time, two-way 11 interactive communication system, without first conducting an in-person physical 12 examination, if 13 (1) the health care provider is licensed, permitted, or certified to provide 14 health care services in another jurisdiction and is in good standing in the jurisdiction that 15 issued the license, permit, or certification; 16 (2) the health care services provided without an in-person physical 17 examination are within the practitioner's authorized scope of practice in the jurisdiction that 18 issued the license, permit, or certification; 19 (3) unless the health care provider has a preexisting provider-patient 20 relationship with a patient that is unrelated to COVID-19, the health care services provided 21 are limited to services related to screening for, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19; and 22 (4) in the event that the health care provider determines that the encounter will 23 extend beyond the scope of practice or scope of services provided for in this section, the 24 health care provider advises the patient that the health care provider is not authorized to 25 provide the services to the patient, recommends that a patient contact a health care provider 26 licensed in the state, and terminates the encounter. 27 (b) The amount charged by a health care provider for services provided under this 28 section must be reasonable and consistent with the ordinary fees typically charged for that 29 service. A health care provider who is required to terminate an encounter under (a)(4) of this 30 section may not charge for any services provided during the encounter. 31 (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during the public health disaster
01 emergency declared by the governor under AS 26.23.020 on March 11, 2020, and extended 02 by sec. 3 of this Act, the commissioner of health and social services may waive any state law 03 or regulation if compliance would substantially prevent or impede the provision of health care 04 services under this section, including any privacy requirements established by state law or 05 regulations that would limit the use of electronic or other technological means of 06 communication in the delivery of health care services. Nothing in this subsection may be 07 construed to abrogate authority granted to the commissioner of health and social services 08 under AS 18.15.390. 09 (d) In this section, "health care provider" has the meaning given in AS 18.15.395. 10 * Sec. 8. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 11 read: 12 BOARD OF NURSING: FINGERPRINTING. The Department of Commerce, 13 Community, and Economic Development shall coordinate with the Department of Health and 14 Social Services and the Department of Public Safety to expedite the process for submitting 15 fingerprints under AS 08.68.100(a)(10), and any associated regulations, for applicants for a 16 nursing license under AS 08.68 and sec. 6 of this Act. 17 * Sec. 9. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 18 read: 19 ELECTIONS: LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. (a) Notwithstanding any provision in 20 AS 15.15 or AS 15.20, the lieutenant governor may, after consultation with the commissioner 21 of health and social services, direct that a primary or general election to be held in the state in 22 2020 be held in the same manner as an election by mail under AS 15.20.800. 23 (b) The director of the division of elections may adopt regulations necessary, 24 including emergency regulations, to implement this section. 25 * Sec. 10. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 26 read: 27 PERMANENT FUND DIVIDENDS: APPLICATIONS. Notwithstanding 28 AS 43.23.011(a), the application period for a 2019 dividend ends June 30, 2020. An 29 application received after March 31, 2020, is exempt from automatic voter registration under 30 AS 15.07.070(i) - (m). 31 * Sec. 11. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
01 read: 02 TAX FILING, PAYMENTS, AND PENALTIES. Except for any tax return, report, or 03 payment required under AS 43.55 or AS 43.56, a taxpayer required to file a tax return, 04 including an amended return or an information return or report, to the Department of Revenue 05 or to make a payment to the Department of Revenue for a tax, fee, or other charge under 06 AS 05.15, AS 16.10.455, AS 16.51, or AS 43, on or after the effective date of this Act and 07 before July 15, 2020, shall automatically receive an extension of time until July 15, 2020, for 08 the return, report, or payment. Because of the application of the extensions in this section, a 09 penalty or interest will not be assessed if the taxpayer complies with the filing and payment 10 requirements on or before July 15, 2020. An extension under this section does not apply to a 11 taxpayer for any return or report required to be filed before the effective date of this Act and 12 any payment of tax, interest, penalty, or other charge due before the effective date of this Act. 13 * Sec. 12. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 14 read: 15 MEETINGS OF SHAREHOLDERS: NOTICE OF SHAREHOLDER MEETINGS. 16 (a) Notwithstanding AS 10.06.405, a meeting of shareholders may be held by electronic 17 communication to the extent the corporation's board authorizes and adopts guidelines to 18 govern an electronic meeting. 19 (b) Notwithstanding AS 10.06.410, a corporation that has or is planning to, on the 20 effective date of this Act, distribute a proxy statement and notice of annual meeting to its 21 shareholders, may renotice or notice the annual meeting so that the annual meeting may be 22 held by electronic communication authorized under (a) of this section. 23 * Sec. 13. Section 12 of this Act is repealed March 12, 2021. 24 * Sec. 14. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 25 read: 26 RETROACTIVITY. If this Act takes effect after April 10, 2020, this Act is retroactive 27 to April 10, 2020. 28 * Sec. 15. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).