Gov. Sanford Sues State Lawmakers Over Stimulus

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 6:05 PM CDT
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, File)
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(Newser) – The fight over stimulus money in South Carolina is now a federal case. Gov. Mark Sanford sued the state legislature last night for passing a budget that requires him to accept $350 million in federal money for schools, the State reports. Sanford, adamantly opposed to the stimulus cash, says state lawmakers are voiding his constitutional authority as governor.

"What this case is ultimately about is balance of power in this state," said Sanford. "Why have a governor if their hands are constantly tied?" State lawmakers, not surprisingly, disagree. “This is the law of the state,” said a state senator of the measure forcing Sanford to take the money. “He took an oath of office to uphold the laws of the state.” It could take a while to sort this out. Sanford filed his suit in federal court, and another is expected in state court.