Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen stopped in Charleston this week to reveal plans to force Gov. Mark Sanford to take $700 million in federal stimulus aid that the governor has so far refused.

State Sen. Sheheen (D-Camden) says he’ll introduce a bill next week that, if approved by the legislature, would compel Sanford to take the money that’s largely targeted for education assistance. Without this money, districts around the state may be forced to make tough decisions, like eliminating teachers.

“The purpose of these dollars is to keep people working,” Sheheen says.

The legislature has authority over whether or not to accept the stimulus money because it holds control over the state’s purse strings. Sheheen says Sanford is wasting his time on national media appearances instead of working to find jobs and provide economic relief for the people of South Carolina.

There should be a command center in the governor’s office, Sheheen says, integrating every agency involved in the relief effort.

“When we have a natural disaster, this is what we do,” he says. “We create a command center and coordinate for a quick response.”

Also this week, Sheheen’s campaign announced that it had raised $278,016 in the first financial quarter of the year. Sheheen announced his intention to run for governor on Feb. 7.

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