Gov. Haley's vetoes eliminate 2 SC agencies

Friday, July 6, 2012 12:11 PM
Last updated Saturday, July 7, 2012 1:35 AM
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COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s budget vetoes include wiping out two agencies, the state Arts Commission and Sea Grant Consortium, in an unprecedented move that puts 38 people in limbo.

Gov. Haley  File
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Gov. Haley

The governor’s 81 vetoes, tallying $67.5 million, would also cut money for teachers’ pay raises, designate less money to a Commerce fund for closing economic development deals, and cut dozens of items she calls wasteful local projects and earmarks.

That includes money for a North Myrtle Beach museum, preserving African-American history sites in Charleston, a commuter mass transit service between Camden and Columbia, prescription drugs for AIDS patients, a nonprofit that serves sexual assault victims, parks, and buying land to preserve the nation’s first community of freed slaves on Hilton Head Island.

“This was a disappointment. It’s embarrassing for them. It’s embarrassing for me, and it should be infuriating to the taxpayers,” Haley said Friday, in explaining the vetoes she delivered minutes before her midnight Thursday deadline. “This is taking bacon home to their people. I know the people of this state don’t want it. The people of this state want tax relief.”

Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman said the term “pork project” is a misnomer. He said the projects represent investments in different parts of the state.

Haley alleged the money was doled out to senators in an effort to buy their votes to defeat her priority legislation. Leatherman called that absurd – a chuckle was his only other response. Even a key ally in the Senate said he has no evidence that happened.

Haley’s vetoes remove all funding for the state Arts Commission and Sea Grant Consortium. The small agencies were slated to receive a combined $2.4 million in state money out of the Legislature’s $6.7 billion budget plan. Haley wiped out federal money for the agencies, too.

Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom said Friday the elimination of agencies five days into a fiscal year creates an unprecedented situation. He told their directors not to incur any more expenses, and he’s seeking legal guidance on how to treat employees who did nothing wrong.

Haley eliminated funding for both agencies last year, too. But the Legislature overrode those vetoes. This year, legislators didn’t finalize their budget plan until last Thursday. The new budget took effect with the delivery of her vetoes.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell is calling legislators back July 17 to consider overrides. He had planned to wait until mid-September. But Harrell said the two agencies’ predicament, as well as the money for teacher raises, should be addressed sooner.

Meanwhile, the two agencies are in limbo. Even if the Legislature overrides the vetoes, it’s unclear whether employees could ever get paid for the interim time, Eckstrom said.On the Arts Commission, Haley said she would rather let taxpayers decide what charities they want to support. She said it’s not a government function.

But its director, Ken May, said without a public agency focused on the arts, rural areas of the state won’t have access. A major initiative is awarding grants to public schools to provide all students “a basic education in the arts,” he said.

Haley disagreed, noting the State Museum provides traveling exhibits. She referred to a photo display on her historic win as the state’s first female and first minority governor.

But the exhibit is not provided for free. According to the State Museum’s Web site, it costs $300 a month.

Haley also vetoed $10 million in one-time money allocated to school districts to help boost teachers’ salaries by 2 percent. She left in place $39 million designated in recurring money, as well as budget clauses mandating that districts provide the 2 percent raises, as well as a step increase for years of experience – increases frozen during the economic downturn.

Haley called the use of one-time money for salaries irresponsible.

But advocates for public education say the veto’s practical effect is that districts will either have to raise local taxes to make up the difference, dig into reserves if they can, employ fewer teachers or cut other personnel.

A LOOK AT WHAT HALEY VETOED

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed 74 items in the Legislature’s $6.7 billion budget and seven items in a separate bill spending $100 million from a rainy-day account that wasn’t needed. They would remove a combined $67.5 million. A sampling:

• $10.1 million to support teacher pay raises

• $10 million transferred from the national mortgage settlement to Commerce for closing deals

• $3 million fund for rural infrastructure projects; Haley notes it has $20 million in the bank

• $1.9 million for the Arts Commission

• $500,000 in Arts Commission grants

• $1.5 million for technology for the Judicial Department

• $1.2 million toward boosting enrollment at the Governor’s School of Science & Math

• $1.25 million for construction at the Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities

• $750,000 for window replacement at Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School

• $600,000 for State Farmers Market operations

• $500,000 for Department of Agriculture to market SC-grown products

• $454,000 for SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

• $428,000 for Sea Grant Consortium

• $300,000 for North Myrtle Beach historical museum

• $250,000 for Charles Lea Center for the disabled

• $200,000 to buy land to preserve Mitchelville, nation’s first community of freed slaves

• $200,000 for Southeastern Wildlife Exposition marketing

• $200,000 for SC Center for Fathers and Families

• $200,000 for DHEC’s head lice program that provides schools with special shampoos

• $200,000 for AIDS Drug Assistance Program through DHEC

Source: The governor’s office

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Riverman1
87119
Points
Riverman1 07/06/12 - 12:24 pm
10
6
That's What I'm Talking About

We need another 49 governors like Haley.

Newsflash
1925
Points
Newsflash 07/06/12 - 12:41 pm
8
3
Like her or not.......

Like her or not.......She's running that job ! Not scared to strike while the irons hot.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 07/06/12 - 01:46 pm
0
0
Of Course!
Unpublished

"Local projects she calls wasteful earmarks include...preserving African-American history sites in Charleston and preserving the nation’s first community of freed slaves in Beaufort County"

Only in SC...only in SC.

crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 07/06/12 - 02:22 pm
8
3
Now, Here is the Leadership We Have Sought

Every once in awhile, lately, we see a glimmer of the real hope for this great nation. Wonderful!

faithson
5265
Points
faithson 07/06/12 - 04:52 pm
3
8
arts

the cost of not educating our youth in the arts will play out over time. such short shortsightedness is the hallmark of a declining culture. Nice, if your plan is a third world culture for our children and our children's children.

Thethirdjq
214
Points
Thethirdjq 07/06/12 - 05:11 pm
2
7
If we want to change this

If we want to change this country, the last thing we need to do is reduce teacher's pay. A 2% increase is a cost of living raise. If we want to change the game, we need to make teaching attractive and competitive for the brightest of our society.

willie7
986
Points
willie7 07/06/12 - 05:36 pm
4
5
Ok, Gov. Haley made some cuts and I am sure it is neccessary.
Unpublished

But look and see what she didn't cut. Thatt's what I would like to know

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/06/12 - 09:16 pm
5
2
Nikki for VP?

Mitt Romney's wife said he may be considering a female as his running mate ... maybe he should consider Governor Haley. After all he did endorse her in 2010. Would she be the first Indian-American VP?

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 07/07/12 - 03:13 am
7
1
I am sorry, but teachers

I am sorry, but teachers need to take the hit just like the rest of us. We are all in this mess together.

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 07/07/12 - 03:19 am
4
1
Faithson, when the going gets

Faithson, when the going gets tough, it's the equivalent of reading, writing and rithmatic that really serves our purposes.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 07/07/12 - 06:41 am
5
0
"$3 million fund for rural

"$3 million fund for rural infrastructure projects; Haley notes it has $20 million in the bank"

.............and this is why I like Governor Haley; why blindly give an agency $3M in tax money when they already have $20M of taxpayer's money they haven't spent yet. Go Governor Haley, the REAL South Carolina is behind you !!!!!

Riverman1
87119
Points
Riverman1 07/07/12 - 08:42 am
4
1
I love the arts much as

I love the arts much as anyone, but it should not be state supported. Nikki knows that. There is NO MONEY. Wake up folks.

wsm141
115
Points
wsm141 07/07/12 - 09:06 am
4
1
It's High Time!

It's about time somebody stepped up and put a political fist in the nose of tax and spend tax more and spend more again politicians. It's called a budget for a reason! If somebody wants to preserve land by god get together and donate "after tax money" meaning out of "your" pocket "NOT" mine for the preservation! The yankees in North Myrtle can collectively come up with $300,000 dollars to help the museum! $10,000,000 for closing deals! What the hell does that mean!!!! Oh I could roll on and on and on!!! STOP LEACHING OFF THE TAXPAYER"S.

I'm quite certain out of the 6 Billion dollar budget that they state 4 billion of it is garbage projects! Cut the BS and return the taxpayer's money

JRC2024
9327
Points
JRC2024 07/07/12 - 09:41 am
3
1
I do not live in SC but send

I do not live in SC but send her to Washington to get the US budget balanced. Sure it is going to hurt those with their hand out but so what. Representatives do your jobs and get this country back of a balanced foundation.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 07/07/12 - 09:44 am
3
0
I have two questions

I have two questions regarding the funding of arts being paid for by taxpayers:

#1 What happened to people donating their TIME and volunteering instead of having everyone draw a paycheck? I am sure that there has to be people within their community who could volunteer. Retired teachers, senior citizens with an interest?

#2 When are parents going to step up and spend time with their children and actually TEACH them something of value? There are dollar stores everywhere that sell sidewalk chalk, fingerpaints, crayons, markers, etc. And libraries and bookstores that having storytime, books on artists, workshops, computers, and the likes. Take a walk within your community and point out architectural styles, art museums that request donations, they do not require them.

I always thought it would be great to be a stay at home mom and have time with my kids until I was unemployed for almost a year. You learn fast that it's a nice fantasy but the reality is you have lost an income and you cannot afford all the things you dreamed about doing if only you didn't work.

I introduced my kids to the public library where we could check out books, movies and go to storytime. We entered the summer reading contest, painted with all kinds of materials, attempted to learn to sew, and many other things. Being broke doesn't mean you have to be uneducated.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/07/12 - 10:59 am
0
0
Yeah!
Unpublished

The "arts". Look what they did for nero, idi amin, mao, chavez, obama.The S.C. Center for "Fathers and Families". There's a greater portion of families who have no idea who or where their father is, unless it's the penitentiary. Governor's Schools of Math and Science and Arts and Humanities. Who are the "dirt poor" chairman and members of these elite guvmint positions? I believe you would find that the "board members" of the "guvmint jobs" are well established (financially and socially) persons eager to spend YOUR MONEY. Keep on keepin' on, Governor Haley! I live in Georgia, but my heart will always be in South Carolina.

jasjames7
13
Points
jasjames7 07/07/12 - 11:03 am
3
0
Solving The Problem

The problem is people think the government should take care of them and every project. Like someone commented if you don't have the money then you don't spend. What a concept, when will we understand what a budget means. I don't know anyone who does not want to support our educators. Lets be real because this is one example of wanting to support a good cause but at what expense. Do our teachers deserve more, I think Yes. But it does not matter who derserves or what idea we want to support if we can't afford it.

Newsflash
1925
Points
Newsflash 07/07/12 - 12:21 pm
2
0
She's good for South Carolina.........

South Carolina is getting a trim in the form of cutting waste. Gov. Nikki Haley’s on the right track. The federal government can print money but the states cant. I say keep cutting and give no special treatment. As far as teachers go i agree with KSL. Teachers are very important but aren't going to starve to death.......Of that I'm sure.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/07/12 - 12:23 pm
2
0
Gov. Haley's vetos a step in right dirrection.

My name is Timothy ( Tim ) Monroe Bledsoe of North Augusta, SC. For weeks I have been sending Letters to The Editors and e-mails to The Aiken County Board of Education and The Administration about their recent raising of school taxes by a vote of 8 members in favor and only one member voting "no". In these terrible economic times, it is well, well past time for everyone to say, "Enough of going-to-the-well to get money that is not needed if these over-paid and under-worked desk-jockeys and paper-pushers would learn to live with-in a common sence budget ! It is time for the do-nothing mayors and county counsil members to speak out against these on-going un-necessary tax increases ! I AM A DEMOCRAT, I DID NOT VOTE FOR GOV. HALEY, BUT I AM VERY, VERY GLAD TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE OF AUTHORITY IS TRYING THEIR BEST TO GET RID OF THE TREMENDOUS AND UN-NECESSARY FAT IN THIS MODERN DAY GOVERNMENT ! Now, all tax-payers must voice their feelings about this and the majority of the tax-payers must get their way !

E-mail: usa1justice@aol.com

Newsflash
1925
Points
Newsflash 07/07/12 - 12:51 pm
2
0
" pork barrel politicians "

I say keep cutting and give no special treatment. As far as people being put out of work ......well that's tough. I have been downsized and had to cut our family budget to the bone. I am surviving and so will the newly unemployed. These sorry pork barrel politicians with their vote getting projects need to be put in the soup line with the rest of us. One things for sure,i am doing hard physical work but most politicians are too sorry to break a sweat. I will stand right by Niki Haley because its a tough decision but she is leaning up this overstuffed slopping hog made fatter by no accountability politicians. As far as teachers go ........tighten up your belts . I am praying for all of us. Remember that S. C. is a right to work state and you can quit or be let go at any time. Plan accordingly and save money while you're making a salary. Agree or not thanks for reading !

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