Capitol Brief by Senator Bill Wielechowski

Keeping In Touch

Representing Northeast Anchorage Neighborhoods and Elmendorf AFB

November 20, 2014
 
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Senator
Bill Wielechowski

733 W 4th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501
907.269.0120
fax  269.0122

sen.bill.wielechowski@
akleg.gov

State Capitol, Rm 419
Juneau, AK 99801
800.550.2435
907.465.2435
FAX: 907.465.6615

Contact the Governor
Governor Parnell's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at sean.parnell@alaska.gov

Visit the state website
www.state.ak.us

 ________________

Contact your
Congressional Delegation

Senator Mark Begich,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5915
Sen. Mark Begich

Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-3735,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Congressman Don Young,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5978
don.young@mail.house.gov

 

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As Thanksgiving approaches, there is much to be thankful for. One is that the Muldoon Jobs Center, which was slated to be closed next week, has been spared . . . at least for now. The Center helps hundreds of people each week look for jobs and develop the skills they need to find long-term, satisfying work. It serves many veterans, disabled Alaskans, older Alaskans, and others who are unemployed and desperately want work.

When I learned of the closure, I immediately sent a letter with Representative LeDoux to the Governor, asking him to reverse this decision. I was pleased when he announced a day later that the closure had been put on hold.  I'll continue working to ensure that East Anchorage doesn’t lose this valuable resource. To read a copy of the letter I sent, click here. To read an article on the closure, click here.

 Yesterday Rep. LeDoux, former Rep. Bob Roses and I met to discuss alternatives to closing the Muldoon Job Center
Yesterday Rep. LeDoux, former Rep. Bob Roses and I met to discuss alternatives to closing the Muldoon Job Center

Sign Up for Health Insurance

Open enrollment for health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act has begun. If you don't already have health insurance, now is a great time to see whether you qualify for federal subsidies and to purchase a plan. 

Under the Act, most Americans are required to have health insurance and nearly 50,000 uninsured Alaskans (more than one in three) are eligible for help purchasing coverage.

Most of those who can receive subsidies are in families with yearly earnings between $47,100 and $94,200. Last year, nearly 13,000 Alaskans purchased health insurance through healthcare.gov and most received subsidies.

Don't Delay! 

You must apply for insurance by Dec. 15 to have coverage on January 1st. If you enrolled last year and received a subsidy, you may need to reapply to ensure you receive the subsidy again. Single individuals in Alaska with incomes between $14,580 and less than $57,400 a year are eligible for subsidies.

Under the Affordable Care Act, all health plans must provide coverage for a wide range of medical services from preventative care to hospitalizations to mental health and substance use treatment.  And you cannot be turned down because you have a pre-existing medical condition!

Avoid a Penalty

If you don't have health insurance coverage in 2015, you could be charged a penalty of either 2% percent of your income or $325 per adult, whichever is more. 

You're exempt from this requirement if you're a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for health care services through a tribal health clinic; health insurance would cost more than 8% of your household income; or you qualify for a hardship exemption such as homelessness or bankruptcy. To learn more, go to https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/exemptions-from-the-fee/.

But remember, you must file an application to qualify for an exemption. To sign up, go to Healthcare.gov  or call 800-318-2596.  If you want help, call the United Way at 211 or 800-478-2221.

Every year during the Legislative session I help serve food at the Thanksgiving in March event to benefit the Southeast Alaska Food Bank
Speaking with members of the Seniors Group at St. Patrick’s during their Thanksgiving potluck last year

This Thanksgiving, Help Those in Need 

Every year, East Anchorage residents come together to make sure families in need are able to celebrate Thanksgiving with a festive turkey dinner. You can help!  To volunteer or donate food, contact the Food Bank of Alaska at 272-3663 or visit them online at http://foodbankofalaska.org/.

A donation of $15 will purchase a turkey and $45 will provide a family with a full Thanksgiving meal.  Volunteers are also needed at St. Patrick's Church (2111 Muldoon Road) to help set up on Sunday, November 23, and distribute food on Monday, November 24.  To find out more, email whoskins@cssalaska.org or call 337-1538.

If your family is in need of assistance this Thanksgiving, go to St. Patrick's Church from 3 to 8 p.m. on the 24th.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

There are many ways to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend with your family.  Here are just a few:

  • Take in a game at the Great Alaska Shootout

The annual Great Alaska Shootout hosted by UAA features top collegiate men's and women's basketball teams. The first game is Nov. 25. The Shootout is one of the longest-running college basketball tournaments in the nation. 

  • Help light "the tree" and build holiday spirit

The annual tree lighting celebration takes place the evening of Friday, Nov. 28, in Town Square Park. Get in the Christmas spirit by coming to meet Santa and his team of live reindeer.  

  • Check out Alaskan crafts & an Alaskan book fair

The Anchorage Museum hosts Crafts Weekend 2014 from Friday, Nov. 28 to Sunday, Nov 30. Nearly 50 Alaska artists will offer a wide array of jewelry, pottery, wearable art, glass, woodwork and more.   There will also be live music and artist demonstrations. A portion of each sale helps to support the museum.

You can also take in the ReadAlaska Book Fair, which features Alaska authors, illustrators, small presses and independent publishers. Both events mark the opening of the museum's holiday exhibition. 

The museum is located at 625 C Street and is open Fri. - Sat. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.  For more information, call 929-9200.

As always, feel free to contact me with your ideas and suggestions. I am here for you!

Warmly,

[signed]

Bill Wielechowski
Alaska State Senator
District G - Anchorage

http://senatorbill.org