Comment Letter on Senate Bill 56 to Members of the 32nd Legislature

February 11, 2021 

32nd Alaska State Legislature
Alaska State Capitol 
120 4th Street
Juneau, AK 99801

Submitted electronically

Re: Senate Bill 56 – An Act Extending COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Declaration 

Dear Senators and Representatives of Alaska’s 32nd State Legislature: 

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to urge passage of Senate Bill 56, extending COVID-19 Disaster Emergency declaration. 

RDC is a statewide trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the RDC membership has partnered with the State of Alaska to keep our workforce and our communities safe and healthy while ensuring that our critical infrastructure industries can continue operation. 

If the current disaster declaration expires, our members are concerned that the State will no longer be able to efficiently procure and provide the needed testing and health care resources we need, including vaccines, to start growing our economy. Without state primacy over the pandemic response, our members are also concerned that a confusing patchwork of local mandates will arise that will negatively impact our critical infrastructure industries. Our economy needs certainty to rebuild, and extending the disaster declaration does just that. 

Thank you for your consideration of our comments.