Monthly Archives: April 2007

New Findings Regarding Public Employees Retirement Policies

The following is a copy of a memorandum sent by Senator Kim Elton to the Finance Committee summarizing recent findings by Buck Consultants, retirement system analysts who work for the State. In this document, “DB” is short for “defined benefit,” the classic retirement plan which includes a pension, and is like the type of plan Alaska public employees had before SB 141 became law (the pensions are affected of new employees hired after the bill became law, and does not directly affect public employees hired before July 1, 2006).

“DC” means “direct contribution,” which is what public employees receive now in Alaska for a retirement plan. It is not a pension, but rather something like a 401k savings account–vastly inferior from the point of view of retirement security. Now we also know it is not less expensive for the state than the former traditional pension retirement plan. Read the rest of this entry

Public Meeting on Denali KidCare and Children’s Health Insurance

Are you concerned about health insurance for Alaska’s children? Join Anchorage Faith and Action—Congregations Working Together

What: Public Meeting on Denali KidCare and Children’s Health Insurance

When: Sunday, April 29, 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Where: Central Lutheran Church, 1420 Cordova

Guest Speakers: Mary Hughes, State Director for Senator Lisa Murkowski; and Dr. Karleen Jackson, Commissioner, Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services Read the rest of this entry

Leadership Anchorage May 15

There is a place for you at Leadership Anchorage, a program of the Alaska Humanities Forum, will host a luncheon and half-day interactive conference on developing and sustaining community leaders.  John Graham, president of The Giraffe Heroes Project, will be the keynote speaker.  There are a number of breakout sessions such as the one offered by Mia Oxley, Mediator & Organizational Consultant.  This session will be a brief exploration of the power questions can have when used with intentionality and skill. 

Another breakout session will be offered by Kevin Harun, MPA, Renewable Resources Mgr. for the Municipality of Anchorage.  This session will provide attendees with concrete methods of community organizing. Many community organizations are faced with very difficult public issues, financial challenges, as well as personal challenges which can affect how we maintain a positive focus over the long haul.

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Alaska Politics Resources 101

Have you been pondering about writing that strident, but not nasty, letter to a local legislator, or a member of Congress, or maybe even a couple of newspapers in Southeast? Have you been wondering what the heck happened to your favorite bill that was introduced in the legislature a while back? Even if these things have not crossed your mind, here are some interesting resources for the public policy minded.

The tour starts at the Alaska Legislature home page. As you might expect, on this page you can find links to the members of the Senate and the House, and you can find out who is on what committee, and who inhabits which District. But, as the Ronco pitchman says, “Wait! That’s not all!” Read the rest of this entry

Federal Tax: Who Pays, and Where Does It Go?

It’s tax time, and what better place to go for an explanation of tax policies and related issues than the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. See, for example, the just-released Where do Our Tax Dollars Go? Despite my dismay with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, I feel a modicum of wellbeing knowing that more than twice as much of my federal taxes go to support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and Safety Net Programs than war. Federal Tax Burdens in Historical Perspective was also just released. Read the rest of this entry