Federal Judge in SC to decide on whether to take on stimulus money lawsuits
From the beginning, Governor Mark Sanford has pushed to use $700 million of South Carolina's $2.8 billion to pay down state debt. But the federal stimulus program doesn't allow this. So Sanford rejected it. Since then, he and the state legislature have deadlocked and the impasse has reached the courts. Lawmakers and others want Sanford to use the disputed money for education. Attorney Richard Harpootlian represents two students who filed a lawsuit. "This passes more than just strange because this is a governor who has bemoaned federal intervention into state's affairs," says Harpootlian. Governor Sanford has filed his own lawsuit against the state in federal court. His spokesman declined to comment. July first is the deadline for states to request stimulus money.