SCASA Responds to Favorable Ruling

June 4, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – June 4, 2009 – We have just learned of the Supreme Court’s decision in SCASA’s favor in the lawsuit against Governor Mark Sanford. We are extremely pleased with the result, and we trust that the Governor will do as he promised—not appeal or further delay submitting South Carolina’s application for federal stimulus funds to the federal government. Both North Carolina and Georgia have had their applications approved, and they already have begun receiving their funds. We look forward to fast action by the Governor.

Molly Spearman, Executive Director of SCASA, stated, “The citizens of South Carolina are the real winners today.  Education is the cornerstone of economic development for our state.  For the Governor to not accept money earmarked for public education not only shows a lack of leadership, but also a continuous lack of support for public education in South Carolina.”

Mrs. Spearman further stated, “We are extremely pleased with the Supreme Court ruling.  Today’s action will ensure that South Carolina will receive the $700M federal stimulus money to help fund public education. 

The Supreme Court’s decision will enable the school districts of our state to receive an additional $184 million for the coming school year to support basic educational programs, as directed by the General Assembly. Our state universities and other public schools will receive $105 million, and public safety agencies $57 million, just in the coming year. This additional funding will enable these vital institutions to preserve jobs, and maintain essential public services.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Governor is entitled to one veto, which he exercised as part of the approval of the Appropriations Act. He is not entitled to a second veto under federal law, and so he must submit the federal application. We are grateful for the work of many people: the General Assembly in overriding the Governor’s veto; State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex in completing the State’s application, with the cooperation of many other officials throughout South Carolina state government; Casey Edwards, Justin Williams; and the law firm of Childs & Halligan for its quick action in putting SCASA’s position before both state and federal courts.