Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she will accept just 69 percent of the estimated $930 million in federal stimulus funds that could flow to the state.
Palin's original announcement Thursday that she was accepting just over half the stimulus package funds did not include $128 million in Medicaid stimulus money she is accepting.
The former vice presidential candidate says she will accept only money without strings that will bind the state later. It's up to the legislature to weigh in on the rest of the package.
Some GOP governors, including Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, also have rejected some stimulus money. Others, including Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Charlie Crist of Florida, have welcomed it.
The Palin administration's budget director, Karen Rehfeld, estimates federal stimulus funds available to Alaska at about $931 million, KTUU-TV reported. Of that, Palin is requesting $515 million for capital projects and turning away about $177 million in education funds.
Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage says that it's irresponsible for the governor to reject federal education funds, KTUU-TV reported, especially in a state with one the highest drop-out rates in the nation.
"We will request federal stimulus funds for capital projects that will create new jobs and expand the economy," Gov. Palin said in a written statement.
"We won’t be bound by federal strings in exchange for dollars, nor will we dig ourselves a deeper hole in two years when these federal funds are gone. For instance, in order to accept what look like attractive energy funds, our local communities would be required to adopt uniform building codes. Government would then be required to police those codes. These types of funds are not sensible for Alaska.”