Legislature(2017 - 2018)

2017-03-10 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2017-03-10                     House Journal                      Page 0455
HB 174                                                                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 174 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                                                   
the Governor, entitled:                                                                                                         
    "An Act extending the governor's declaration of disaster                                                                    
    emergency to address the opioid epidemic; and providing for an                                                              
    effective date."                                                                                                            
was read the first time and referred to the Health & Social Services                                                            
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                                             
1.  Zero, Dept. of Health & Social Services                                                                                     
The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 9 follows:                                                                        
"Dear Speaker Edgmon:                                                                                                           
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to an extension of my                                                           
February 14, 2017 Declaration of Disaster Emergency.                                                                            
This administration has been working as a coordinated team to identify                                                          
the extent of drug abuse and overdose dangers facing our state. In                                                              
recent years, opioid abuse has rapidly expanded across the state. This                                                          
is a dangerous trend that affects our communities and the lives of                                                              

2017-03-10                     House Journal                      Page 0456
many Alaskans. Drug overdose deaths are a serious public health                                                                 
concern, which warrants the designation of a public health disaster                                                             
emergency. This emergency exists statewide and affects all levels of                                                            
Therefore, on February 14, 2017, I made a declaration of disaster                                                               
emergency under AS 26.23.020 that authorized the Commissioner and                                                               
the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health and Social                                                                
Services to coordinate a response. This response includes establishing                                                          
a statewide overdose response program and a statewide medical                                                                   
standing order allowing local and regional overdose response                                                                    
programs, healthcare officials, first responders, and the general public                                                        
to have the ability to directly dispense and administer the lifesaving                                                          
drug naloxone. Since the declaration, we have made significant                                                                  
progress in the distribution of resources to combat this epidemic,                                                              
including kits containing opioid overdose drugs. By extending the                                                               
declaration of emergency under AS 26.23.020, we continue to assure                                                              
dispensation of opioid overdose resources under a statewide standing                                                            
medical order.                                                                                                                  
This is only one part in fighting this battle and we must continue to                                                           
seek all available tools to address this epidemic. Therefore, I submit                                                          
this bill to extend the declaration of disaster emergency issued                                                                
February 14, 2017 until February 14, 2018.                                                                                      
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
Bill Walker