Stimulus resolution reaches Senate floor, turns around

South Carolina state senators have postponed a decision on whether to override Governor Mark Sanford’s decision to divert hundreds of millions dollars in federal stimulus money to pay off state debt.  Next week Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman will come up two budget proposals to bring back to the floor, one containing $350 million in stimulus dollars, one without.  Leatherman said if senators didn’t override Sanford, the cuts to state agencies would be very deep indeed.  “You will actually eliminate agencies.  Are we willing to do that?  Maybe some agencies are not necessary.  That’s up for debate.  But if we don’t take this money, I believe that every person in this Senate will be ashamed of what they do to the people of South Carolina.”
Lexington County Republican Jake Knotts asked Leatherman if the scenario would be as bad as he thought it would be.   “You’re telling me that we gonna have to pay this money back, plus we’re gonna have to borrow money, to pay for the results of him not excepting the money, and all that’s on the taxpayers, plus they’ve got to pay this back whether they use it or not?”
Knotts agreed with Leatherman that without the stimulus money, some state prisons would close down, and worst.  “We’ll be laying off teachers, opening the doors of prisons, to let criminals back out onto the streets, to rob taxpayers of what they didn’t get before they went to prison, and all this on the backs of the poor taxpayers, who’re trying to make ends meet to feed their children, and to keep a job?  I mean, good gosh, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that.”