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Haley vetoes bill for I-95 Corridor Authority

COLUMBIA --- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has vetoed a bill intended to coordinate efforts to bring prosperity to poor, rural communities along Interstate 95, saying it unnecessarily grows state government.

By duplicating what the state commerce and education departments already do, "this bill further dilutes state resources and accountability for education and economic development," Haley wrote in her veto message.

The bill designated no money to the I-95 Corridor Authority, though it said legislators could.

Senate Minority Leader John Land, a co-sponsor, said Thursday it was meant to bring leaders together and create a way for them to attract and dispense grants and private capital.

The bill would create a 19-member regional council with a mission of improving the economy and education opportunities along the corridor that runs from Jasper County to Dillon County. Its members would not be paid. They would include representatives of Francis Marion University, South Carolina State University, Morris College and Claflin University.

Budget writers revive ethics staff gag law

COLUMBIA --- State Ethics Commission staff wouldn't be able to express opinions about issues being considered by the watchdog agency under a measure revived by a budget compromise committee. Three House members and three senators on Thursday resumed work on a compromise version of a $6 billion spending plan.

The Senate had nixed the House gag measure in its version of the budget. The temporary law says the Ethics Commission staff can't make public comment that reflects a personal opinion about matters the commission is considering.

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