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Speaker Harrell Comments on Governor’s Attempt to Ignore Stimulus Deadline

April 2, 2009

Office of the Speaker



Contact: Greg Foster

April 2, 2008

(803) 734-3125

Speaker Harrell Comments on Governor’s Attempt to Ignore Stimulus Deadline

(Columbia, SC) – In a press conference held earlier today, Governor Mark Sanford expressed his intent to ignore the April 3rd deadline to draw down a portion of stimulus money for South Carolina. Speaker Harrell made the following statement on the Governor’s decision to disregard the facts of this deadline:

“The Congressional Research Service, members of Congress, our state’s own Attorney General, the language of the law itself and even the President have made it clear that April 3rd is the hard deadline for the Governor to accept or reject South Carolina’s stimulus funds for education, healthcare and law enforcement. After April 3rd, the Governor will have shirked his responsibility to the taxpayers of our state, and according to the law, money originally meant for our state will be sent to other states, and South Carolinians will still be required to repay this money.

“We adamantly opposed this so-called stimulus bill when it was proposed. However, we realize – as do most of our state’s citizens – that because this plan became law South Carolinians will have to repay this money whether we accept it or not. That is why it is so difficult to understand the Governor’s rationale for requesting millions in energy efficiency money while rejecting money for teachers and law enforcement officers.

“The Governor’s press conference raised many concerns about his actions on the stimulus funds, but the most disturbing comment came on the subject of jobs and unemployment. Given our state’s current 11% unemployment rate, the second worst unemployment rate in the country, the Governor was asked what his job creation plan was. Unfortunately, the Governor had no answer to the question.

“We are at the 11th hour of this debate. It’s time for the nonsense to stop and for the Governor to request the funds our citizens will have to pay back anyway.”

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