Friday, January 23, 2009

Palin's State of the State Address

Last night, Palin delivered her State of the State Address to a joint session of the Senate and House. Her address was very well received by both Democrats and Republicans, and there were many standing ovations throughout. An Alaska Democratic Senator, Lyman Hoffman, called the speech "exhilarating."

Much of her 30-minute speech focused on Alaska's energy, past efforts in that regard and its oil production. But she also highlighted future projects and emphasized her fiscal conservative ideals and practices.

This is why she is so good for the Republican party. Not only does she hold these ideals and express them clearly, but she also puts them into practice.

From her speech:
At a time when other state legislatures are staring at multi-billion-dollar deficits, and when our federal government proposes a deficit in excess of a trillion dollars this year alone, we have all the cautionary examples we need in the virtues of living within our means. With less revenue, we have an obligation to spend less money.

I couldn't put it any better myself. How lucky the state of Alaska is to have her watching out for them. I only wish all of our public servants tried to fix problems by actually working on them instead of throwing money at them. I only wish our government officials would cut bloated programs that bleed us dry instead of making them bigger and asking for more money. I praise any politician who shares these views and is in the position to act on them. Great job, Sarah!

She also made this important point in her Address:
Two years ago at this podium, I urged spending restraint. I asked that billions of surplus funds be deposited in state savings. This struck me as a simple precaution against, as I described it, massive single-year cuts down the road, if and when we faced tougher times. You legislators agreed, so we can now meet our challenge in a stronger position.
Well done!

The full text of her Address is here: Fort Mill Times

Here is a local article about the Address.

Palin puts hiring freeze in place
Friday, January 23, 2009
Story last updated at 1/23/2009 - 10:29 am

Gov. Sarah Palin told Alaskans in her State of the State address Thursday that the state faces a serious financial crunch due to declining oil prices, and she is instituting a hiring freeze and banning non-essential purchases.

She provided few details on how those plans would be implemented, though she said public safety is exempt.

"We can't buy into the notion that for government to serve better, it must always spend more," she said.

A hoped-for budget surplus faded with falling oil prices, and Palin said it is time to cut spending to avoid dipping into the Permanent Fund or imposing taxes on Alaskans to fund state government.

"Unless the price of a barrel of oil dramatically increases, and soon, we're looking at a potential revenue shortfall in excess of a billion dollars this year," she said.

Palin's speech before a joint session of the Alaska Legislature was punctuated with applause when she criticized actions of the federal government or praised Alaska's "culture of life."

She spurred a standing ovation among legislators when she praised former Sen. Ted Stevens, who lost the seat he held for decades after being convicted on federal charges immediately before his November re-election bid.

She also offered praise for newly elected Sen. Mark Begich and congratulated Sen. Lisa Murkowski on her "worthy committee assignments."

Murkowski was recently named to the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, a much sought-after seat Stevens used to funnel money back to Alaska.

After the 30-minute speech, legislators praised what they heard.

Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, called the speech "exhilarating," and Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, praised a "positive message of unity."

Palin began by joking about her run for vice president and praising President Barack Obama.

While announcing not-yet-defined cuts, Palin talked about new projects and said she wanted to build more roads to develop Alaska's resources.

"We're commissioning preliminary work on a road to Umiat and pursuing a road to Nome," she said.

She made no mention of the Juneau Access Road, which would help develop the Kensington Mine north of Juneau but has not been a priority for her administration.

Much of Palin's first two years as governor were consumed with efforts to bring the state a natural gas pipeline and get more for the state's oil resources.

Now, she said, she expected Obama to also support the gas line.

"The last president supported a gas line, and so does our new president," she said, adding that it would provide America with abundant, affordable secure energy.

She emphasized her recent call for Alaska to get 50 percent of its power from renewable resources, but said the state should work aggressively to build an in-state gas line because many renewable technologies would take years to develop.

"Between then and now we need a clean, interim fuel," she said.

While she offered compliments to Obama, she also praised the former president.

"For keeping the homeland safe and being a friend to Alaska, I thank President Bush," she said.

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