Politics & Government

Sanford sued by Timmonsville, S.C., mayor for line-item veto abuse

The mayor of Timmonsville is taking Gov. Mark Sanford to court over a decision to fund the State Budget and Control Board with money budgeted for rural water, sewer and other infrastructure projects.

Sanford violated limits on his line-item veto power in striking all funding for the State Budget and Control Board, Timmonsville Mayor Derrick Jackson argues in court filings.

The suit also argues Sanford, a Republican, violated the state constitution's separation of powers when he decided to use the rural infrastructure money to fund the agency. Only the General Assembly has the authority to reallocate the rural grant money, the suit argues.

"You can't wholesale reappropriate funds no matter what the (budget) language may say," said James Smith, an attorney for Jackson's lawsuit. Smith, a Democratic state representative from Richland County, said Sanford overstepped his constitutional authority by modifying the agency appropriation instead of vetoing a line item or section.

The lawsuit asks the South Carolina Supreme Court hear the case directly, to throw out Sanford's veto of State Budget and Control Board funding, to declare the transfer of rural infrastructure money invalid and to throw out the budget language that lawmakers and Sanford thought allowed the transfer.

State Budget and Control Board officials sent a message to employees notifying them of the lawsuit, but declined to comment on the suit. Sanford spokesman Ben Fox said the governor’s office was not commenting on the suit.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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