The South Carolina state legislature passed a budget purporting to require Governor Marc Sanford to accept $350 million of federal stimulus money. Governor Sanford has responded by filing suit against the state legislature. According to The State:
Sanford said the case is about power, not money, and who will have it.
“This is not about the vetoes, and it’s not about the stimulus,” Sanford said. “What this case is ultimately about is balance of power in this state.
“This is about the larger question of why have a governor if their hands are constantly tied?”
Sanford had refused to accept the money unless the state pays off an equal amount of debt, something state lawmakers said they could not afford to do this year because the state has cut $1 billion from its budget. The budget, approved Wednesday, requires Sanford to accept the money within five days.
Lawmakers, the governor said, have overstepped their authority and tried to rewrite federal law.
But members of the GOP-controlled General Assembly said the Republican governor has lost the debate and it is time to move on. Otherwise, a July 1 deadline from the U.S. Department of Education means South Carolina could lose a portion of its stimulus money, they said.