The Alaska Legislature passed Senate Bill 241 Saturday extending the governor’s public health emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic to November 15 and providing provisions to deal with the pandemic. The bill, which is currently waiting to be transmitted to the governor, extends the application deadline for the 2021 Permanent Fund Dividend until April 30, and allows people out of state due to the pandemic to retain eligibility for the dividend.

Other provisions in the bill pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic prohibits evictions and foreclosures of those suffering from the pandemic, outlaws price gouging, and directs several state agencies to put into place programs to assist those impacted by the pandemic.

The bill also prohibits public utilities from discontinuing service to a customer experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and requires the customer to notify the utility of the financial hardship.

Introduced at the request of Governor Dunleay, the bill is expected to be signed into law once it is sent to the governor’s office.

Michael Paschall is the editor and publisher of Delta Wind and can be reached at