Governor Sanford Won't Appeal S.C. Supreme Court Decision
After a federal judge today sent two stimulus lawsuits back to the state Supreme Court, Governor Mark Sanford said he would not make any state or federal appeals of whatever is decided by the state's top court, and will abide by whatever their decision is regarding a disputed $700 million in federal stimulus funds.
Governor Sanford had sought to use state dollars equal to about 10 percent of stimulus funds South Carolina was slated for in order to pay down state debt, so that future generations who ultimately pay for the so-called "stimulus" spending receive some benefit from the government services of today being bought with tax dollars of tomorrow. Instead, the General Assembly has tried to force the governor to apply for the funds.
Two state suits had been filed seeking to force the governor to apply for the federal funds. The governor had sought to have those claims consolidated with his own and have all three heard in federal court. With the federal judge sending two suits back to state court today, the state Supreme Court will almost certainly make the final ruling in the case.
Gov. Sanford noted that if the case is decided against him, he hopes it will serve as a wake-up call for fixing South Carolina's antiquated government structure.
"We continue to believe that this issue is fundamentally about the balance of power and separation of powers in our state, and our hope is that however it turns out it will serve as a reason for more people to make their voices heard about the outdated and bizarre government structure in South Carolina," Gov. Sanford said. "Legislative dominance in our state costs all of us in very real terms for the way it breeds duplication and waste. If we ever want to be competitive as a state in the 21st Century, it starts with having a 21st Century government structure."