Cross posted at The Next Right
It's no wonder that Governor Sarah Palin remains extremely popular in Alaska with over 61% approval rating. She continues to show how good government is done.
Palin announced yesterday that she has carefully assessed Alaska’s part of the huge, hard to digest $787 billion stimulus bill and is accepting only 55%* of it.
1. It is “not sensible” to accept stimulus funds that require ongoing state spending after the federal dollars are gone.
"We will request federal stimulus funds for capital projects that will create new jobs and expand the economy," Governor Palin said. “We won’t be bound by federal strings in exchange for dollars, nor will we dig ourselves a deeper hole in two years when these federal funds are gone. For instance, in order to accept what look like attractive energy funds, our local communities would be required to adopt uniform building codes. Government would then be required to police those codes. These types of funds are not sensible for Alaska.”
2. “We can’t keep digging” the huge, growing hole of $11 trillion national debt and adding programs the state can't fund.
I don’t want to automatically increase federal funding for education program growth, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, at a time when Alaska can’t afford to sustain that increase." "Simply expanding state government under this federal stimulus package creates an unrealistic expectation that the state will continue these programs when the federal funds are no longer available,” said Governor Palin. “Our nation is already over $11 trillion in debt; we can’t keep digging this hole.”
3. Only funds that create jobs and promote economic growth will be accepted.
"The law requires me to certify that the requests I forward for legislative approval will meet the requirements of the ARRA to create jobs and promote economic growth," Governor Palin said. “Legitimately, I can only certify capital projects that are job-ready.”
State Savings Balloon
Careful fiscal management is Palin’s hallmark. She more than tripled Alaska’s savings from $2-1/4 billion to begin 2007 (when she became governor) to almost $7 billion to begin 2009.
State Budget Slimmed Down
The plummeting price of oil led Palin to cut the Alaska budget proposal for 2009. The current Alaska budget proposal is based on an oil price of $57.78 per barrel (current rate has climbed in three months from a low of $32.40 to above $50 today). So, it looks like that rate may be met and exceeded.
Unemployment Goes to Below National Average
Alaska’s unemployment rate has not seen the same big jump experienced in the last few months by most of the rest of the nation. In the last year Alaska has significantly improved its unemployment position among the states. Alaskas has gone from 1.7% above the February 2008 national unemployment average of 6.5% to 0.1% under the February 2009 national average of 8.1%.
*The Anchorage Daily News claims it's 70% when Medicaid funds are added in.