The Corner

Governor Sanford’s 49 Vetoes

In South Carolina, the battle continues over the governor’s decision to reject the stimulus money. Yesterday, Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed most of the state’s $5.7 billion spending plan. Interestingly, if the General Assembly overrides these vetoes (the House just did a few minutes ago) then this opens the door for a more important question: Can it do that?

As South Carolina’s newspaper, the State, notes here:

The governor said forcing him to accept the money in the budget takes away his executive power and that state residents are ready to oppose the federal spending. ‘The logical question would be then “Why have a governor?”‘ Sanford asked. ‘I think it’s a big deal and has far-reaching implications. Let’s see how the House and Senate votes and what the people of South Carolina say on this.’

Sanford, arguing lawmakers should start from scratch with a new budget without using the stimulus money, issued 49 vetoes Tuesday. Two of those vetoes erase nearly every dollar in the state spending plan that will begin paying for state government July 1.

Read the whole thing here.

Also, read Jonathan Adler’s blog post a few weeks ago on the constitutional aspect of this question here.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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