S.C. governor sues lawmakers

May 22, 2009 at 1:20 AM
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COLUMBIA, S.C., May 22 (UPI) -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has filed a federal lawsuit against state lawmakers, saying he cannot be forced to use federal stimulus money.

In legal papers filed Wednesday, the governor said the General Assembly overstepped its prerogatives by passing a budget over his veto that orders him to accept $350 million, The State reported. Lawmakers set a five-day deadline.

"This is not about the vetoes, and it's not about the stimulus," Sanford said. "What this case is ultimately about is balance of power in this state. This is about the larger question of why have a governor if their hands are constantly tied?"

The dispute is an intra-party fight. Sanford is a Republican, and the party also controls the assembly.

Sanford said he would only take the federal money if the budget reduced the state debt by the same amount.

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