The war between two of the state’s branches of government over whether to take or not take federal stimulus funds has reached a new level, a federal level. In a suit filed in federal district court, the Governor Mark Sanford argues that the General Assembly’s attempt to legislate its way around policy decisions made by the Executive Branch sets a dangerous precedent for future South Carolina governors and governors across the country.
“What you’re really talking about is arbitrarily allowing a state legislative body to change federal law,” said Sanford. “I think that that has a real consequence for 49 other governors in the United States of America if for political reasons–blue states, red states, all the states that you can draw–where you could have a legislative body come in and arbitrarily change the law that a governor would be administering…maybe of a different party (and) maybe for political reasons. There are a lot of bad scenarios that could be drawn in that instance.”
He says that begs a greater question, “Why have a governor?’. Within the federal code itself, there are four requirements basically in terms of assurances or accountability by which you draw down these funds. What the provision said last night was, ‘no, none of that matters. You just except the money, period.’ ”