In January 2009, Governor Palin wrote the Secretary of the Army requesting that he temporarily reinstate retirement benefits for Alaska Territorial Guard veterans until Congress could do so permanently. The original posting regarding this matter can be found here: ATG Benefits.
Pursuant to that letter, the Army agreed to extend the benefits until April 2009, which was to give Congress time to act on the issue (ATG, 2009, ¶2). April is closing in and Congress has not acted on this yet. On March 24, Governor Palin sent a follow-up letter requesting that the benefits be extended through the end of the calendar year (ATG, 2009, ¶3).
In the letter to Secretary Preston M. Geren, Governor Palin states, “If you choose to not reverse your position, please extend the emergency funding of these benefits until the end of the calendar year. I appreciate your earlier decision to provide emergency funding through April 1, 2009, under the premise that this would give Congress time to act. However, Congress has had its hands full with bailouts, budgets, and other issues and has not had the time to adequately address this very important matter.
“Congress can likely address this issue, but it will not be until the end of the calendar year. Given the likelihood of action by Congress and the importance of the benefits to the ATG members receiving them, I urge emergency funding of retirement benefits to be continued until the end of the 2009 calendar year.”
Governor Palin's letters and my prior blog post detail the accomplishments of the Alaska Territorial Guard and the history of this benefits matter. Secretary Geren honored the Governor's request within one day. I suspect the same will occur.
Governor Palin is an effective commander and executive. In three pages, her letter succinctly and cogently builds the case for continuing benefits. Effective people don't just say and write flowery prose with the aid of a teleprompter. Effective people add value and achieve the desired results, and their accomplishments are often unsung.
I have no doubt in my mind that by week's end I'll be writing a follow-up entry indicating that Governor Palin achieved her goal of extending emergency funding till year's end.
Governor urges Army Secretary to continue to fund ATG benefits. (2009, March 25). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 25, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1722
"Palin, S. L. H. (2009, March 23). Letter to US Secretary of the Army, Peter M. Geren, III. State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 25, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/ATGpay_Mar23-2009.pdf