Separation anxiety

Legislature burned time, money bickering over power with Haley

How rich and ironic that the South Carolina Supreme Court says Gov. Nikki Haley violated the separation of powers in trying to coerce the legislature into session this week.


It's precisely a separation of powers Haley is after!

After decades of dithering over whether to allow the executive branch of government to run the executive branch of government, Haley boldly demanded the legislature come back into session this week and finally vote on a commonsense restructuring of the government. The change would, among other things, pull the legislators' fingers out of the executive branch pie by abolishing the joint Budget and Control Board and establish a Department of Administration under the governor.

Allowing the executive branch to administer the day-to-day operations of the state, something most every state already does, would help South Carolina become more efficient and -- as the Supreme Court seems to like -- lead to a true separation of powers.

The House had already agreed -- and had agreed to come back this week -- but the Senate chose instead to go to court and prove a point.

Point made: Technically, Haley isn't able to call the legislature back into session during a recess, the court says by a 3-2 vote.

But rather than burning up time and money to make that point, Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell could have just been a team player and agreed to get the job done. Turf and power seem to be more important than getting things done.

McConnell claims he supports Haley's four-bill restructuring. Fine. He'll have the chance to prove he means it in the extra session the legislature has allowed itself next week.

Haley may have lost the battle this week, but she needs to win the war, for the sake of good government in South Carolina. Lawmakers will have to go on the record one way or another -- thanks in large part to Haley's push to require lawmakers' votes to be recorded, and her bold brinksmanship to get that vote.

Haley joins a line, now, of South Carolina governors who whiny and grabby legislators complain are "confrontational." So be it. When confronted with lawmakers who can't get their work done even after five months, one needs to be confrontational.

Quit whining about the governor, quit trying to micromanage the state, and get your work done.



Sat, 11/18/2017 - 23:00

Editorial: Our common ground