STILL STUNTING THE STIMULUS…. We’re approaching the end of May, and it seems like the debate over the economic recovery package has been over for a long while, but there are still some pockets of obstinacy. For example, there’s Alaska:
Gov. Sarah Palin on Thursday became the only governor to turn down federal stimulus money for energy efficiency, a move that legislators called “disappointing” for a state with some of the country’s highest energy costs.
In announcing the veto of $28.6 million in funds, Palin said she wouldn’t accept money tied to adoption of building codes by local governments. […]
State budget director Karen Rehfeld said the Republican governor was concerned that in accepting the money, she would be required to promote the adoption of local building codes. To qualify for the federal money, 90 percent of new and renovated structures in the state would have to be constructed under energy efficiency standards between 2009 and 2017.
State lawmakers responded that this is a misguided reason for opposition, since Alaska had largely already met the federal mandate. And since Alaska could benefit from efficiency and energy reduction programs, lawmakers from both parties said Palin’s concerns don’t add up. The legislature will try to override the governor, and accept the $28.6 million. If not, it will be divvied up among the rest of the states.
And then there’s South Carolina:
Gov. Mark Sanford is taking the General Assembly to court after lawmakers required him to accept $350 million in disputed federal money by overriding his budget vetoes.
Sanford quickly announced the federal suit after the Senate voted 34-11 on a state budget that forces him to accept the money.
“We know a suit will be filed against us on this issue, and as such we’ve filed a suit tonight in response,” Sanford said in a prepared statement. “We believe the Legislature’s end-around move won’t pass constitutional muster.”
Yes, the governor would rather sue his legislature than accept federal funding that would go to bolster schools and public safety.
I guess Palin and Sanford must really want to impress that GOP base.