Items of Interest in this E-News:
  • Alaska Psychiatric Institute
  • Senior Benefits Program
  • Bills, Bills, Bills!
  • Meet the Team: Introducing Bernice Nisbett
  • Upcoming Community Councils in District 16
Alaska Psychiatric Institute
The Department of Health & Social Services just announced that it is opening up the contract to administer API to competitive bid. This is an important first step to restoring public trust. This is now being done the way it should have been done in the first place.

DHSS is now slowing down to do the privatization feasibility study required by their contract with ASEA to determine whether privatization would increase patient safety or save the state money. If that feasibility study supports it, DHSS will initiate a competitive bid process to solicit proposals to run API.

There is no replacement for a careful and methodical decision making process in determining who should provide care for the vulnerable patients at API.

I will continue to closely monitor to ensure that DHSS stays true to its commitment to a public process that restores the public trust.
Senior Benefits Program
On April 11th, the Department of Health & Social Services sent out a notice that the lowest tier of Senior Benefits Program payments for May and June 2019 will be suspended due to insufficient funding.

This didn't need to happen. Commissioner Adam Crum of DHSS could have requested supplemental funding or transferred funds using the authority the legislature gave them to transfer up to $20M in the FY19 budget. When we considered this bill last year, seniors told us they use these funds for prescriptions, food and heating fuel.

I am working with colleagues in the House and Senate to address this issue. Seniors cared for us when we needed it, now it's time to care for them.

If the Senior Benefits Program cuts affect you or your loved ones, please write a letter to Commissioner Adam Crum letting him know what this cut will mean to you. If you have questions or concerns about the Senior Benefit Program or what you can do please contact me.
Bills, Bills, Bills!
Meet the Team: Introducing Bernice Nisbett
Meet my Legislative Director, Bernice Nisbett. Born and raised in Kodiak, Alaska, Bernice is a lifelong Alaskan. She has a passion for the outdoors, especially back-country snow boarding! This is Bernice's fourth year in the Alaska Legislature and her third year in my office. She oversees all of my legislation and is carrying a number of the bills that I am sponsoring this session, including Telehealth Insurance Coverage and SHARP III. Bernice is a student at Alaska Pacific University, working towards her second Masters degree in Counseling Psychology.
Upcoming District 16 Community Councils
The most local form of government we have in Alaska is the  Community Council.   We have three in our district. You can find the agendas and more information on the individual community council websites we have linked below. If you don't know which one is yours, call our office at  (907) 465-4940  and we will help you figure it out!

  • Russian Jack - Second Wednesday of the month, next one is May 8th, 6:30 pm at Wonder Park Elementary School.

  • Northeast - Third Thursday of the month, next one is April 18th, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Muldoon Community Assembly Youth Facility, 1005 North Ermine St.

  • University Area - First Wednesday of the month, next one is May 1st, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the University Baptist Church on Tudor Road.
I'll send out email updates fairly frequently during the legislative session. Please let me know if you want to know about anything that I don't cover in the updates. You can reply to this email or give me a call!

Keep in touch!
Phone Number: (907) 465-4940