Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palin among nation's most powerful governors

According to a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the governorship of Alaska is among the most powerful in terms of its executive powers. The Journal reports that only four other states imbue their governors with as much executive power as Alaska, and only one, Massachusetts, has more.
One rap on Sarah Palin's qualifications to be Vice President is that she governs one of our least populated states, with a budget of "only" $12 billion and 16,000 full-time state employees. On the other hand, it turns out that the Governor's office in Alaska is one of the country's most powerful.
Only four other states -- Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia -- concentrate as much power in the Governor's office as Alaska does, and only one state (Massachusetts) concentrates more. ...

In Alaska, the Governor has line-item veto power over the budget and can only be overridden by a three-quarters majority of the Legislature. In 1992, the year Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was elected President, his state budget was $2 billion and among the smallest in the country. Compared to that, Sarah Palin is an executive giant.

Op-ed here.

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