FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
‘Stimulus’ Legislation Allows State Legislatures to Override Governors Who Refuse Bailout, Accept Funds Anyway
Here’s a nice little tidbit: the so-called “stimulus” bill includes a provision that allows state legislatures (like, perhaps, South Carolina’s) to override their Governors’ (like, perhaps, Mark Sanford, R-SC) decision not to accept borrowed bailout funds, simply by passing a concurrent resolution.
In other words, state legislatures can override the GOP Governors out there who have kept their respective spines and integrity intact, and force the state to accept this dirty money over the wishes of that state’s chief executive.
The text, taken from pages 490-91 here (warning: massive .pdf file), reads as follows:
SEC. 1607. (a) CERTIFICATION BY GOVERNOR.–Not
26 later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act,
1 for funds provided to any State or agency thereof, the
2 Governor of the State shall certify that: (1) the State will
3 request and use funds provided by this Act, (2) and the
4 funds will be used to create jobs and promote economic
6 (b) ACCEPTANCE BY STATE LEGISLATURE.-If funds
7 provided to any State in any division of this Act are not
8 accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the
9 State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent
10 resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such
While this means that principled Governors won’t be able to overcome their state legislatures’ desire to get a piece of the borrow-and-spend pie, there is an upside: folks like Sanford can be as principled as they want in their opposition to the bailout, while not having to face the blowback of their state’s not getting any cash from this bill. This means that, however this boondoggle turns out, principled GOP Governors with less-principled state legislatures may be left sitting in the best of all possible positions.
That’s not too bad a position to be in, is it?