COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford wants to use $700 million in federal stimulus money to pay off state debt, not increase spending on programs or services.
Sanford has long railed against federal bailouts, and on Tuesday sent lawmakers a letter saying he wants to use the money to pay off some of the state's $20 billion in unfunded liabilities. While he doesn't specify in the letter, the governor has used that figure when referencing what is owed the state retirement system.
Sanford did not control most of the $2.8 billion in federal money for South Carolina - and $1 billion is being considered by lawmakers for the state budget being crafted this week.
The governor in his letter warns that using stimulus cash for the state budget is reckless.