Legislation Signed to Improve Public Health and Reduce Burden on Budget

HB 215 Expands Ability of Dept. of Health and Social Services to Collect Fees for Administrative, Inspection, and Analytical Services

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law that empowers the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to collect additional, mostly administrative, fees to support public health services. House Bill 215 passed the Alaska Legislature this year with broad bipartisan support.

“The mission of the Department of Health and Social Services is to protect the health of Alaskans. However, in recent years that mission has been diminished due to budget cuts. With less money, the Department has been forced to eliminate services the industry needs and is willing to pay for. House Bill 215 will allow us to reverse this trend by enabling the Department to collect fees for additional services,” said House Finance Committee Co-Chair Representative Paul Seaton (R-Homer), who carried the bill on the House floor.

Currently, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services can collect fees for public health clinical services, including child health, nutritional, and health education services. HB 215 expands the Department’s authority to charge fees to support administrative services such as loan repayment programs, radiological and other equipment inspections, data extraction and analysis, and expert consultation.

“HB 215 doesn’t contribute to the deficit or mandate any fees,” said Rep. Seaton, “it simply enables the Department to work with stakeholders to identify valuable services the industry is willing to pay for.”

House Bill 215 passed the Alaska House of Representatives in February by a vote of 30-8. The State Senate passed the bill by a vote of 16-3 on the last day of this year’s legislative session. Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed HB 215 into law today during a ceremony in the Capitol Building in Juneau.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Diament in Representative Seaton’s office at (907) 235-2921.

Drew Cason
Deputy Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 575-2068

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