SC Governor Sanford requests stimulus money "under duress"
A months-long stand off over stimulus funding in South Carolina is over. Governor Mark Sanford has requested the money, but he's not happy about it. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: Governor Sanford has submitted the required paperwork, just as the South Carolina State Supreme Court ordered him to. But he did it under duress. In a letter accompanying the funding request, Sanford says, "It's important to state one last time for the record what a monumentally terrible idea I believe the entire so-called stimulus act is." Sanford maintains the stimulus puts future generations into debt. South Carolina will receive 8 billion federal stimulus dollars in total. Sanford tried to block 700 million of it destined for schools and law enforcement. But the state Supreme Court said he couldn't. That led State Superintendent Jim Rex to lament the months of time and money Sanford wasted with his opposition. "Forty-nine other governors understood that this stimulus money was going to have to be repaid by the citizens of their state regardless of whether they accepted it or not," says Rex. "And here in South Carolina with second highest unemployment rate in the nation we're saying we don't want it, we don't need it? This should have been settled a long time ago." Rex says the funding will save 500 jobs and some summer school programs on the chopping block. Governor Sanford says the state will face an even bigger budget crisis when the stimulus money runs out in two years.