In a unanimous ruling handed down by the S.C. Supreme Court, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford must request the $700 million in federal stimulus money he had wanted to reject. The court says Sanford has a duty to execute the state budget, which includes provisions for using the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Governor Sanford had contended that accepting the cash would make the state budget dependent on federal aid. He had said he would accept the money only if he could use it to pay down the state’s debt. The Obama administration rejected that idea, saying the money was intended to spur the economy, not apply to debts. The state Supreme Court ruling settles the issue. This week, Sanford said he wouldn’t appeal the decision if it came down against him. (Information courtesy of the Charlotte Business Journal).
I believe that it is the governor’s right to accept, or deny, this federal aid. This is more a battle for state sovereignty than it is a question of applied stimulus funds. Also, where does the state’s legislature fall into this? Are we going to have high courts all over the land fighting battles based on a united agenda? With things stacking all over this nation on a one-sided point of view, I fear that our “stack” will come toppling over, due to imbalance.