South Carolina's Supreme Court ordered Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday to request $700 million in federal stimulus money aimed primarily at struggling schools, ending months of wrangling with legislators who accused him of playing politics with people's lives.
WHAT THE COURT SAID: The unanimous court ruling said the governor had no say in the matter. "At this stage in the process, the Governor certainly has no discretion to make a contradictory decision on behalf of the State," the ruling said. "He has no discretion concerning the appropriation of funds."
WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID: Mr. Sanford said he will not appeal the Supreme Court ruling and plans to sign paperwork to request the money Monday.
Mr. Sanford on Thursday lamented what he said was a decision that underscores how the little power governors of the state have is ceded to the Legislature.
"In South Carolina, in many ways, we don't have three branches of government. We have only one," he said. "If you put too much power in one place, not many good things happen."
WHAT EDUCATORS SAID: Educators quickly hailed the court decision, but noted that they had already suffered deep budget cuts and wouldn't be able to fully recover even with the stimulus money.
BUDGET HOLES REMAIN: In-state college students will still pay more in tuition -- between 7 and 17 percent higher at the Medical University of South Carolina, for example -- and while 500 teaching jobs will be saved, hundreds of others won't be. Full story/8A