New Office of Children
I am pleased to report that the first day of our reorganization was a success. We had a few blips in the Medicaid check writing process, but if you consider the size and scope of the reorganization effort, our first day was a success. This was due to the work of the employees of this department and the time and effort that went into the reorganization plan. It was no small task-and you deserve congratulations. This is the largest reorganization in our 84-year history as a department, one that we undertook to provide better service to Alaskans.
Earlier this year, Governor Murkowski issued an administrative order asking that all department websites adopt the "look and feel" of the new state website.
The new look is in place for the department and DPA. There may be some broken links or other issues that should be resolved soon.
Additionally, we will soon be updating DPAweb and the public DPA website to update the new organizational structure.
Over the past two weeks I have been on the road as part of an effort led by the Governor's Office, to discuss the Governor's final budget. I've made dozens of presentations to providers, partners, stakeholders, and the news media, and you have probably seen some of the coverage. I thought that the article that appeared in the June 22 Peninsula Clarion did a good job of explaining our budget, our reorganization, and our future plans. You can view this online at the Peninsula Clarion.
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."
Needs-based program open to Alaskan seniors age 65 or older begins in September
Juneau, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today released additional details on the new
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.
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).