Sanford gives in on stimulus, will seek funds for South Carolina

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will comply with a midnight stimulus deadline and become the last governor in the nation to seek millions of dollars in federal economic-recovery funds for his state, McClatchy reports. Sanford will continue contesting $700 million in education and law enforcement money for South Carolina, but his 11th-hour move to meet the deadline buys time for schools fearing mass teacher layoffs and draconian cuts. Sanford’s month-long fight over stimulus money placed South Carolina in the national spotlight and put him at loggerheads with President Barack Obama. "Tomorrow the governor is going to send the [Section] 1607 certification for everything except the stabilization funds," Sanford’s spokesman, Joel Sawyer, said April 2. "The governor will apply for that [additional] money if the General Assembly is willing to compromise and pay down some debt with it." Obama has twice rejected Sanford’s written requests to use $700 million in stabilization money to pay off state government debt instead of its intended use to help school districts retain teachers and modernize old schools. "We are pleased with reports that Governor Sanford will join the other 49 governors–Democrats and Republicans–in filing a certification to accept Recovery Act money," said spokesman Kenneth Baer. "The Recovery Act will create or save 3.5 million jobs [nationwide], and we do not want to see the citizens of any state denied the help that it can provide."

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