Benefits & Services

Union Leadership





On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the House Health and Social Services Committee held a hearing to discuss the governor's proposal to divide the Department of Health and Social Services. The proposal would create a Department of Health that would oversee Medicaid and a Department of Family and Community Services. 

Read more about the hearing from this Alaska News Source article

Chair Zulkosky invited several stakeholders, including ASEA, to share questions and concerns with committee members about the proposed split. Several advocates for families and children testified that they did not support the proposal, offering that they were mostly confused as to the intention of the proposal, sharing that the Governor's Administration did not reach out to key stakeholders, including Tribal leaders, about the proposed changes. They offered shared concerns that splitting up the Department of Health in this way could negatively impact children and families, creating additional gaps and barriers for communication and coordination. 

 Jake Metcalfe shared ASEA's concerns that this split could lead to more efforts to outsource state work. Jake shared that Texas had privatized some of their children and family services in an attempt to address chronic failures by their Children's Protective Services agency. The result was not good. Jake reminded committee members that it's important that public services are driven by public need, and not by for-profit companies.

As for outsourcing concerns, ASEA continues to monitor any efforts to outsource State work, beyond the terms that are set in our contract. ASEA members are always welcome and encouraged to share concerns or information you have, about anything, including outsourcing. Send your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 If you missed the hearing, or want to listen again, you can visit the Alaska Legislative website for an audio recording.