Friday, January 23, 2009

Sarah Palin: Remember Her?

In the midst of the historic inauguration of President Obama, there's been little news from the Great White North about Gov. Sarah Palin. But yesterday she gave her state of the state address (full text here) and made several notable comments about special needs issues. I said after the election that I was curious to see what action she'd take on these issues, so it's only fair to report occasionally on what she's up to.

First, she was gracious in her comments about our new president:
"Just two days ago we witnessed a shining moment in the history of our country. Millions of Americans are praying for the success of our new president, and I am one of them. His work is cut out for him, but if President Obama governs with the skill, grace, and greatness of which he is capable, Alaska’s going to be just fine. We congratulate President Obama."

Addressing education, she said:
"...we’ll encourage opportunities for students with special needs. One of the great privileges given to me last year was the chance to be a witness for the truth that every child has value; to say to special needs children that they are beautiful and loved. And needed. We learn more from them than they from us. Across America, a great change is coming in public policy affecting these children, and Alaska can lead the way."

On health care:
"I look forward to working with you on adjustments to kid’s health insurance. We’ll fund more early screening -– for example, for autism -– because early detection makes all the difference."

With a revenue shortfall that could top $1 billion, she announced a hiring freeze, a 7 percent cut in the overall budget, and a spending freeze on all non-essential items. With these challenges, I hope she can deliver on her promises to Alaska's children and families.
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