The Anchorage Assembly voted Tuesday to extend for a second time the civil emergency declaration put in place by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in late July — this time until Sept. 26.
Municipal attorney Rebecca Windt-Pearson said the extension would allow the municipality to contend with what she called the “second wave” of people who are expected to lose access to housing and other social services under Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget cuts.
The municipality attempted to curb the first wave when it allocated $400,000 to keep Catholic Social Services’ shelters open at their current capacity. Under Dunleavy’s cuts, Brother Francis Shelter would have reduced its beds from 240 to 100.
The cuts were expected to add 800 more homeless individuals to Anchorage’s streets.
The only assembly member to vote against the extension was Crystal Kennedy, who expressed confusion over what emergency the municipality was trying to address.
“It seems to me that there was a first couple of few days there were there was an emergency, we didn’t know what was going to happen to people, but things have kind of stabilized now,” she said.
The Alaska Legislature last Monday approved House Bill 2001, which restores funding to most items vetoed from the budget, but the bill has not yet been sent to the governor. Once it is, he will have 20 days to sign it, or veto all or part of it.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.