Governor Sanford has sent a second letter to the Obama Administration, asking for permission for the funds to be diverted to pay off debt, this time being more specific. Sanford wrote that he wants to use $577 million of the stimulus funds to pay down the roughly $579 million principal for school facilities bonds and research university infrastructure bonds. The governor says that would save $125 million in interest payments over the next 13 years, which could then be directed towards educational purposes. Once again, both democratic and republican lawmakers say Sanford knows that the white house is not allowed by law to grant that request. Pickens County Senator Larry Martin, a republican, says federal law simply doesn’t permit what Sanford is asking for. “I don’t know where in the law he is hanging his hat on the request.
“There seems to be some misunderstanding, apparently, in their reading of it but the whole idea of paying down debt, particularly in a time that we’re and especially with the economic situation, would seem to run a little bit counter to the whole intent behind the stimulus money. Even if there was some sort of prefatory language in there that allowed the president some discretion, I don’t think he’d grant it.”