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Town sues SC over using rural cash for oversight

Aug 3, 2010 5:20:00 PM - thestate.com
A small South Carolina town is suing the governor and legislative leaders over their plan to take money allocated for rural water and sewer systems to instead pay for the state's budget oversight agency.

Attorneys for Timmonsville - a town of just over 2,000 about 70 miles east of Columbia - filed suit on Friday, asking the state Supreme Court to overturn Gov. Mark Sanford's plans to fund the budget agency with money from the Rural Infrastructure Bank, said Mike Sponhour, a spokesman for the Budget and Control Board.

Sanford oversees the five-member budget board, which is responsible for overseeing key state operations including computer systems, human resources and dozens of other functions from bidding on state contracts to providing the numbers at the heart of state budget writing.

In June, the governor vetoed the board's $29 million budget, criticizing what he called wasteful spending and saying he'd instead use money from the rural account set up to help local governments with water and sewer needs.

On Tuesday, an attorney who represents Timmonsville in the lawsuit said both that money grab and the veto that preceded it were unconstitutional and should be overturned by the state's highest court.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)