The Non-Existent Cut of Teen Pregnancy Funds

by Jonathan H. Adler

It’s fashionable in Washington to characterize a decline in the rate of increase as a “budget cut,” but even this can’t explain the Washington Post’s sloppy reporting on Sarah Palin’s use of line-item budget authority as Governor of Alaska.  Here the Post reported that Gov. Palin “used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.”  As would be expected, the Post seeks to connect this to the pregnancy of Gov. Palin’s daughter.  Specifically, the Post claims she cut funding for the Alaska Covenant House from $5 million to $3.9 million.  Only that’s not really true.

The Alaska Covenant House’s entire annual budget typically hovers around $3 million, and grant income is just over $1 million annually. This past year, the organization requested substantial additional funds for the construction of a new $22 million facility.  Covenant House asked for $10 million from the state, the legislature appropriated $5 million, and Gov. Palin reduced it to $3.9 milllion.  This was not a reduction in funding from prior years — no where close — and it was not even a reduction in proposed funding for Covenant House’s operations, but a cut in the amount of new money the Alaska government would provide for a capital expenditure.  Anchor Rising has all the details here.

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