ADN: Seniors' aid depends on low income

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 27, 2003 - 10:57am

GUIDELINES: State expects 7,500 to qualify; 18,000 got longevity bonus.

JUNEAU -- The state announced income guidelines Thursday for a new program to provide $120 monthly payments for low-income seniors who will lose longevity bonuses in September.

Senior advocates said the program will help some needy senior citizens, but they fear others will fall through the cracks. "As my mother used to say, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye," said Pat Luby, legislative representative for AARP in Alaska. "It's still going to be a mess for many of our oldest citizens."

Peninsula Clarion: DHSS makes efficiency new goal for future

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 23, 2003 - 2:35pm

At $1.6 billion, it is the most expensive in the state's budget, but the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is about to embark on a new course aimed at delivering a better product more efficiently and at less cost.

"It's the most comprehensive restructuring in the history of the department and it might even be one of the largest restructurings in the history of the state government," said Joel Gilbertson, commissioner of Health and Social Services in Gov. Frank Murkow-ski's administration.

Commissioner's Update: Budget Update

Submitted by Curtis Nelson on June 13, 2003 - 8:31am

Governor Murkowski has now announced his final FY 04 budget plan,consistent with his stated intent to extend the life of ourConstitutional Budget Reserve by drawing down no more than $400 millionfrom our reserves this next fiscal year. In so doing, the Governor willexercise his power of the veto, reducing the budget passed by thelegislature by some $130 million in state funds.

KidCount 2003 rankings of poverty, families

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 12, 2003 - 3:54pm

A survey of child health and welfare released today showed a mixed bag of results for Alaska families. The Kids Count survey is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is released annually based on prior-year information.

Alaska scored well nationally in areas of child poverty (6th) and high school dropout rate (13th,) but poorly in percentage of children in single-parent families (38th), and children in families with neither parent working (47th).

DPA stars

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 6, 2003 - 2:37pm

This weeks DPA Stars remind me of a certain pair of action super heroes. We now have our own Dynamic Duo right here at DPA!

Our Star's this month are teammates that could be called the "Dynamic Duo". According to their co-workers they are definitely the glue that holds their team together. They are both described as having genuinely big hearts, keen wits, are fun to work with, and do an awesome job!

Governor signs bill to tighten Denali KidCare eligibility

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 4, 2003 - 11:27am

Gov. Frank Murkowski has signed legislation that could keep about 1,300 children and pregnant women from receiving free health care over the next year, at a savings to the state of about $1.75 million.

The bill changes the income level at which families qualify for Denali KidCare, which provides health care for children and pregnant women in families that make too much money to receive traditional welfare but generally don't have health insurance through their jobs. It's paid for with federal and state funding.

Director's Message: New Management Structure Takes Effect

Submitted by Clay Butcher on May 28, 2003 - 10:12am

Greetings everyone,
The Alaska Legislature has gone home for another year and DPA received relatively little budgetary impact from lawmakers. Because most of our programs are federally funded and those federal funds require a certain percentage of state dollars to match, the majority of lawmakers declined to tinker with our budget.

The bigger news today concerns our ongoing reorganization. Late last week, your executive managers met and finalized a new, expanded management group for DPA. The purpose of that group is to bring more leaders from more sections to the decisionmaking table. We hope that doing so will result in more creative ideas, better problem solving and better information flow from the frontline staff to the managers and vice versa.