This is in response to questions and comments I have received pertaining to this announcement:
Just like at the federal level, a state legislature can override a governor’s veto. So, if Governor Palin had vetoed, yes it would have been overridden — the legislature overwhelmingly wanted that money. Of course, since she is the one signing the bill, those who hate Governor Palin are accusing her of being a hypocrite — this is why we need to be well-informed about this matter. It’s complex, and quite frankly — dry subject matter — and easy to just “sloganeer”.
Had the legislature not accepted her compromise — had they just blindly ramrodded it through — veto would have been the right thing for Governor Palin, and that’s what I had been advocating — even with an override. This would be to put her on the record as having rejected this money.
Once Governor Palin’s compromise was accepted and her criteria complied with re: the 33% of the stimulus money she questioned — she could not now turn around and veto what was agreed to — when it was her criteria that was agreed to! Doing so would have been a double-cross and a back-stab.
The Governor offered a compromise that she would accept much of the that portion of the money so long as it replaced state funds and the state does not end up funding this stuff two years later when the federal money dries out. The legislators originally were not interested. That was a circumstance for which veto was indicated. That circumstance changed 180 degrees.
The legislators accepted the Governor’s compromise. They complied with her criteria. They wrote it into the house bill. So long as this is how the bills are when they reach her desk, then passage is now the right thing. You can’t turn around and back-stab people who after a long negotiation complied with most of what you wanted. If she were to do that, Governor Palin would have a hellish remainder of term awaiting her (and with people abusing the ethics complaint system as a political tool, her work life is already not exactly pleasant right now).
Remember too she has 20 days to pass or line item veto once it reaches her desk. If the legislators sneakily remove that which they agreed upon, we’ll be back to square one. Hopefully, that does not happen.
Finally, the stimulus package was different for different states. Governor Palin accepted 67% of the money without issue, because it was for capital projects and automatically met the criteria she set forth: no unfunded state mandates and no federal encroachment into state affairs. What was in question was 33% of it and that is now resolved.
Different states had a different mix and different amounts. Each state is unique in how the stimulus was handled. For instance, my home state of NY has a Democrat governor who I refer to as “Obama II” When he’s proposing much higher taxes on annual income over $250K — just like Obama is doing at the federal level — and supports Obama in every way shape and form, I think the the term is apt. NY accepted its package, lock, stock and barrel with nary a thought as to whether any of this money is poisoned. But, NY is also mainly a Democrat state and the few Republicans we have here are RINOs. For instance, pro-choice Democrat Senator Gillibrand was regarded as a “right-winger” and she is now “evolving” her views. Lovely. NY got much more money than AK, but since this is a liberal state with a governor and legislature on the same page, we took the money without even a thought.