This week budget subcommittees began and they will continue for the next few weeks. Similar to my committee assignments, I will serve on the budget subcommittees for Health & Social Services, Education, and Energy. Each subcommittee will make recommendations for the House Finance Committee to consider as they continue work on the FY20 budget.
Juneau – Today, Representatives Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel) and Zack Fields (D-Anchorage) released a report outlining the potential impacts of repealing Medicaid expansion in Alaska. Medicaid expansion was implemented in 2015 to provide medical insurance coverage to a portion of Alaskans who live just above the poverty line. The report, prepared by the non-partisan Legislative Research Services, finds that if Medicaid….
Juneau – New data from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), featured at a recent House of Representatives informational hearing, demonstrates that a repeal of Medicaid Expansion in Alaska would result in 3,700 lost jobs, $267 million in lost wages, and $556 million in lost economic output. ANTHC’s new study finds that Medicaid Expansion has been budget neutral for the State of Alaska’s general fund. Additionally, Medicaid Expansion has attracted $1.13 billion in federal investment in Alaska.
Juneau – Today, Representatives Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel), Zack Fields (D-Anchorage), and Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) released a memorandum from the non-partisan Division of Legal and Research Services confirming that the Governor of Alaska is legally obligated to accept federal funding to cover the Medicaid expansion population in Alaska. The memo’s authors note that the governor cannot simply eliminate funding for Medicaid expansion by refusing to receive federal funds. The memo goes on to stipulate that any restriction on how Medicaid funds are to be spent must be made by statute – not the budget.
We are in the third week of the 2019 Legislative Session. This week the Governor released his Supplemental Budget. Of significant concern to our rural district are Governor Dunleavy’s suggested cuts to the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) Program and K-12 education funding.
The 2019 Legislative Session has officially begun! I am excited to begin work in our Capital City on behalf of District 38 and the state of Alaska. Although conversations to determine organization in the House continue and committee assignments remain in flux, my office is open and here to work for you. Please reach out if you would like to schedule a meeting, phone call, or need support with a state agency.