May 18, 2007
"The State of Alaska provides many services to seniors, many of which are not found in other states," said House Rules Committee Chairman John Coghill (R-North Pole). "What we have tried to do is identify programs that address specific needs of seniors and make sure those are funded first. These include a full array of services, from Pioneer Homes to heating assistance and from dental care to assisted living.
"While it is true we have moved away from cash payments that don't have any strings attached to them, we have bulked up our response level to specific needs to make sure those needs are taken care of. We believe seniors' needs are more than adequately funded in a multitude of state programs."
Estimated funding for senior programs within the Deptartment of Health and Social Services include:
In addition, the state gives a property tax exemption for seniors who own their homes and provides free hunting and fishing licenses to seniors.
Each year, the capital budget typically includes a number of grants to senior centers and a variety of other programs that benefit seniors. This year's capital budget, SB 53, contains more than $9 million in appropriations to projects, purchases and programs that specifically benefit seniors. That is in addition to hundreds of projects that generally benefit seniors and make Alaska a more elderly-friendly place to live.
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