Governor Mark Sanford has a week to draw down stimulus funds and he has said he will not do so. He punctuated that statement by filing a federal lawsuit saying that the legislature making him take the money is unconstitutional.In his most recent press conference, Governor Sanford says his suit was a preemptive strike because he anticipated at least one suit to be filed against him.
“The Constitution grants me, quote, Supreme Executive authority,” said Sanford. “You now have authority that has been granted to you by Federal Code and what you have is a legislative body, this state legislative body, coming in and pulling it out which we think to be unconstitutional.
“I would not have acted on that because I think it to be unconstitutional which is why we’re bringing the case which means they would have done what they promised to do which is bring a case against me.”
Two cases have been filed against him: one from a high school and a law school student saying tuition will be raised and schools and students will suffer, and another suit from the South Carolina Association of School Administrators asking him to to sign document to apply for federal stimulus money that has been set aside for the state.
Governor Sanford, in his press conference, said he would possibly negotiate with legislators saying, “I would hope to sit down with them at the table, be glad to sit down at the table, if they will negotiate in good faith. To date, that has not been the point based on their beliefs that they had this trump card wherein they were going to get me to spend it all, period.”
So, to date, all three branches of state government are at a stalemate, until a lawsuit is heard or a truce is reached.