Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said governors must exercise constraint in spending the hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid going to states, and said he plans to limit how the money is spent in his state.
“I will not allow my legislature — I will veto if it comes to that — to use one time money to prop up ongoing spending programs,” Mr. Schweitzer said in an interview with The Washington Times Sunday morning.
The nation’s governors met in Washington this weekend to discuss how they will spend extensive federal aid for education, transportation and healthcare projects from the stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama last week.
A handful of Republican governors have been critical of the expansive government spending included in the stimulus plan, saying they would return the money to the federal government.
One day earlier Mr. Schweitzer, who chairs the Democratic Governors Association, said Republican governors who don’t support President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan should give their share of the stimulus money to governors who do back the president.
During the interview, Mr. Schweitzer also questioned critics who say there is not enough oversight to account for the stimulus spending.
“Don’t get wrapped around the axle that this is some kind of new money,” he said, referring to his state’s share of federal Medicaid dollars included in the stimulus plan.