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Governor withdraws order restructuring Department of Health and Social Services


March 22, 2021
Monday AM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Gov. Mike Dunleavy withdrew Executive Order 119 from consideration on March 11th, formally setting aside his proposal to reorganize the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.  

"I want to thank the Governor for withdrawing the executive order splitting the Department of Health and Social Services. Many of us recognize the need to reorganize the Department, but it should be done in a deliberative and thoughtful manner. I look forward to working with the Governor on this effort," said Senate Democratic Leader, Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage).

The decision followed a series of hearings in the House Health and Social Services Committee, which earlier voted 6-1 to advance a resolution that would have let lawmakers vote to approve or reject the restructuring during a joint floor session.  

“We’ve said from the beginning of this process that we’re open to working with the administration to address the challenges within the Department of Health and Social Services. With a restructuring of this magnitude, it is important to ensure a collaborative process that includes the diverse perspectives of health stakeholders, Tribal partners, the Legislature, and the public at large,” said Co-Chair Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel). “I’m grateful to the governor and his administration for listening to the concerns raised during the committee process and for the willingness to hit the reset button.”  

Co-Chair Liz Snyder (D-Anchorage) added, “Good things happen when everyone at the table listens to one another. Lawmakers, the administration, and everyone who engaged throughout this process expressed a commitment to working together to make sure the Department of Health and Social Services serves Alaskans as effectively as possible. I am grateful for all of the Department's work and successes, but it is clear that improvements need to be made. The executive order started a much-needed conversation, and I look forward to its continuation."  



Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews

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