The fight over stimulus money in South Carolina is officially over.
Gov. Mark Sanford has sent a letter requesting $700 million in federal stimulus money he once refused to accept. Sanford also dropped his legal case that sought to give him control over the money.
Last week, the S.C. Supreme Court ordered Sanford to spend the money after it ruled the General Assembly could compel him to do so. Lawmakers included the $350 million in stimulus due to the state this year to help schools and law enforcement agencies balance their budgets in the $5.7 billion state budget it passed last month. Earlier, Sanford had pledged not to bog the state down in a protracted legal fight, and he agreed to live with the decision of the state's highest court.
Sanford, however, was still defiant in making his request.
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The governor called the stimulus "destructive federal policy." He also made no promises that South Carolina could live up to the stimulus mandates to fund education at 2006 levels, as the national recession has erased roughly $1 billion in state tax revenues over the past year.
"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 wrote.