Legislature(2017 - 2018)
2017-03-10 House JournalFull 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 Committee. 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 society. 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. Sincerely, /s/ Bill Walker Governor"