South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s battle to refuse the state’s share of the $787 billion dollar stimulus money has seemingly come to an end. Thursday, the South Carolina supreme court ruled that Governor Sanford “must” request the $700 million in funds for the state.

GovernorSanford  OfficialPortrait

Governor Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford was one of several Republican Governor’s who were opposed to receiving bailout money from the federal government. Mark Sanford was the most vocal of the group and took his fight the farthest. After months of fighting with legislators, his battle is all but over; Sanford says he will not contest the court ruling. Sanford said in a statement today:

“This decision is terrible news for every taxpayer in South Carolina, and even more so for future taxpayers who will ultimately bear the responsibility of paying for this so-called ‘stimulus’ without seeing any benefit from it,” he said in a statement.

Mark Sanford is said to be a possible Presidential contender in 2012 and has been the Republicans most outspoken voice of opposition against the $787 billion dollar stimulus package passed by Barack Obama and the Democratic congress.

Sanford correctly argues that the so called stimulus will only hurt South Carolina’s citizens in the long run by heaping more debt upon them without realizing any benefits. South Carolina legislators argue that the $700 million in funds will go mainly to education in the state; Governor Sanford wanted to use part of the stimulus to pay down state debt. Obama and the feds trumped states rights by saying he could not use the money as he saw fit.

South Carolina’s state legislature passed a budget that included the federal funds, that’s when Mark Sanford sued for his right to refuse the funds. The battle over the federal stimulus package and a Governor’s right to accept or refuse has led to a fresh debate over the 10th amendment which guarantee’s a state’s sovereignty and subsequently their right to self governance.

When Barack Obama signed the bill authorizing the $787 billion dollar stimulus, it contained a provision which allowed state legislatures to override a governor who didn’t want the funds. The lawsuit that ended today in the South Carolina supreme court was initiated by two students and a school administrators association who were fearful that South Carolina would be without money for education.

Governor Mark Sanford says that he will file the papers necessary to request the $700 million in stimulus money from the federal government on Monday. So Mark Sanford becomes the first Governor to be forced to request federal money he doesn’t want. Unfortunately for the people of South Carolina, he will probably already be out of office when he is proven right.

Mark Sanford Stimulus Video

Photos: South Carolina Governor’s Office