WASILLA -- Bearing one of the largest budgets in state government during a budget crunch is no easy task, but Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Joel Gilbertson appears to be taking his duties in stride.
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.
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).
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!
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.
There are a variety of DPA flyers, forms, notices and presentations available in PDF format in Russian, Lao, and Spanish.
Click "read more" for a list of the materials available:
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.
A new Kaiser report studies the influence of TANF on women's health and well-being. Women comprise 90% of the adult caseload receiving welfare assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF
The Department of Health and Social Services is terminating all current Alternate Workweek agreements and requiring new agreements if employees wish to continue working an alternate workweek. This is the official notification all employees currently on an alternate workweek agreement that their agreement will end on June 29, 2003.
Direct Deposit is a great way for the State of Alaska to deliver cash payments, and a smart choice for Alaska payees receiving ATAP or APA benefits. Simply stated, Direct Deposit is less expensive to use than a Quest card, and more secure and efficient than checks. Please try to advise your current and future APA and ATAP clients of the availability of direct deposit to their personal bank account.