State wants to raise rates at Pioneer Homes

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is shown during a Cabinet meeting at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Juneau, Alaska. Dunleavy is a Republican former state senator. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

State officials are moving ahead with a proposal that would significantly raise rates at state-supported elder-care facilities, while a bill in the Alaska House seeks to moderate what the state can charge.

Clinton Lasley, director of the division overseeing Pioneer Homes, recently told a House committee that if the bill fails, the state would continue with the regulatory process and a plan that seeks to raise rates between 40% and nearly 140%. State officials have called this an attempt to bring rates in line with the cost to provide services.

Lasley has said the Department of Health and Social Services can adjust rates without legislative approval.

The department is taking comments on its proposal. After the public comment period ends, the department could adopt changes or take no action.

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