(CNN) - Reacting to the South Carolina Supreme Court's ruling that he must take $700 million in federal stimulus funds dedicated to education, Gov. Mark Sanford said Thursday he will abide by the court's decision and sign paperwork requesting the money on Monday.
But Sanford, a possible 2012 presidential candidate, also called the ruling "terribly flawed" and said the decision reinforced his long-held belief that South Carolina's political system places too much authority in the hands of the state legislature.
"We have a fundamentally flawed governmental structure that impedes and hurts progress in the state of South Carolina, and by extension impedes and hurts the quality of peoples' lives in South Carolina," he said at a press conference in Columbia.
Pointing to California as an example of "an absolute disaster case when it comes to fiscal stewardship," Sanford lamented that his state missed a chance to show other states "a different way than simply taking this money and spending it."
Still, he called the prolonged fight over the money an "incredibly important debate" over the balance of power and taxpayer rights.