Friday, March 20, 2009

Palin turns down millions from Stimulus

WTG PALIN!!! I don't care how many may have felt about Sarah. I feel she was very down to earth, with a head on her shoulders. Where I didn't care for McCain many I talked to said they were voting for her not him. Do people not realize we have to pay back all this debt...this porkulus bill with lots of earmarks of further debt has so many strings attached that OUR CHILDREN are so far in debt and they are still young and growing and learning!? AND AND now I am hearing mr lord god almighty neo marxist bambam miscalculated and was short and more money is needed???!!! ANGRY IS NOT quiet the word I would use as in the article I just read!!!

Ok here is to Palin more now than when I set out to do this blog kudos to her!!!!

Palin turns down millions in federal stimulus funding for Alaska

Originally published Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 12:02 p.m.
Updated Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 12:38 p.m.

JUNEAU — Protesting federal "strings," attached to stimulus funding, Gov. Sarah Palin said she doesn't want nearly half the estimated $930million Alaska is eligible for.

"Will we chart our own course, or will Washington (D.C.) engineer it for us?" Palin said.

She expected to file an appropriations bill this afternoon accepting about $251.5 million in stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, coupled with allocations of $262.6 million already requested for transportation and aviation projects for a total state take of about $514.1 million.

Missing in her bill will be millions that Palin said are contingent on the state increasing the size of government, chipping in more dollars, or passing new laws that Alaskans might not want.

Among the money left on the table is about $170 million for education, especially under TItle One and for special education; millions for health and human services, including medical records and immunization programs; about $17 million for Department of labor programs, including vocational rehabilitation; about $7 million related to public safety; and several million dollars for energy projects, including some weatherization funding.

Palin pointed out that the energy money appears to require the state to pass a building code, while other funds could result in more state employees and programs that can't be maintained in the future.

She said she's concerned about "managing expectations" of the people served by the state's programs.

In a press conference Thursday morning, Palin said she looks forward to a public discussion in the Legislature about other funding in what she dubbed a "growth of government package."

She said she hopes the Legislature will have enough time to take up the stimulus issues before an April 3 deadline for her to accept the federal money. It's unclear still if the Legislature will have additional time to evaluate the funds.

"I would hope that's going to be enough time," Palin said. She also said she won't "get myself in a box" by saying she will or will not veto measures by the Legislature accepting more money than she is advising.

Legislative leaders have already questioned how Palin expects them to address several in-state natural gas development bills and other matters introduced halfway through the 90-day session. Her office issued a press release stating she doesn't see a need to call a special session offering lawmakers more time to deal with the stimulus package, energy, tighter state budgets and more.

At the press conference, Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, supported what he said is responsible restraint on the governor's part.

Palin's administration said the details of what she does and doesn't plan to accept will be made available online once the bill is transmitted to the Legislature.

Her legislation will request $252.5 million for capital projects, including:

• $20.7 million for education and job training;

• 68.6 million for water and sewer projects;

• $3 million for the Alaska Vocational Training Center;

• $2.5 million for Fire Fuels and Forest Management;

• 39.6 million for public housing projects through the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.; and

• $116 million for the University of Alaska Fairbanks research vessel.

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