Saturday, December 6, 2008

Palin Does Good -- Really

During the campaign I occasionally (or frequently) criticized Gov. Palin for her past record on many of her key issues. I suspect she will not be a prominent figure in this blog now that she's back in Alaska, but when she (or Sen. McCain) take action related to special needs, I'll weigh in and invite your comments.

And today's one of those times. To her credit, Palin this week unveiled a plan to invest an additional $5 million to support children's health -- including areas like autism screening, Head Start, obesity prevention, a test program of half-day preschool, and expanded insurance under Denali KidCare (which covers low-income children and pregnant women). The proposed increase to Denali KidCare would cover an additional 1,300 children and about 225 pregnant women. Interestingly, last year Palin opposed an increase in the program despite the fact that the state had a large surplus because of high oil prices.

Today, as the price of oil drops, many Alaska officials worry there may be no additional money for programs like these -- and in fact, some services may need to be cut. Her proposed increases would take effect in the next fiscal year -- at which time a balanced budget would depend on oil prices being $20 higher than the current $40 or so.

If you miss seeing Palin on your TV every day, here's a video of her announcement.

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