by Rhonda McBride
Monday, March 23, 2009
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The Senate Finance Committee heard from Gov. Sarah Palin's budget director why the governor left about $300 million in stimulus funds on the table Monday.
Karen Rehfeld explained that if Palin accepts those funds, it may require the state to change its laws or programs, which could wind up costing more in the long run.
On the Senate floor lawmakers questioned these arguments.
Sen. Johnny Ellis says a crime program in the Clinton administration put more police officers on the streets, and even though it went away it helped reduce crime.
"My neighborhood benefited greatly from those federal dollars that were temporary in nature," Sen. Ellis said. "When those federal dollars ran out, there were no strings attached."