COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Gov. Nikki Haley has vetoed 51 items from next year’s South Carolina budget totaling $41.1 million. She says the cuts are to hidden earmarks, lawmakers’ pet projects, and old-fashioned pork.
For example, she vetoed $3 million for “sports development marketing,” and $100,000 for an indoor pool for the Richland County Recreation Commission.
She criticized lawmakers for putting in the budget “pass-throughs,” money that’s put in a state agency’s budget only for it to “pass through” and then be spent somewhere else. “A legislator will put money into one of my agencies’ budgets and then they will call my director and say, ‘I put this money in your budget and this is what I want it to go to,’” the governor told reporters Thursday. “You’re compromising my director. You’re compromising the process and you’re compromising the good that we could have done. It has really started to become a problem.”
She said she’ll sign an executive order in the next few weeks to have the state agencies that are part of her cabinet go through their budgets to look for any pass-throughs.
She says, “We’re going to continue to work with the General Assembly and encourage them to sit there and say, ‘If you’re asking for it, be honest with the taxpayers, be honest with what you’re asking for. If it is good enough, then it’s good enough to tell your taxpayers what you’re asking for.'”
She says overall, the budget has a lot of good things in it, including more money for schools, a pay raise for teachers, and money to hire 144 new prosecutors to handle domestic violence cases. She didn’t get the income tax cut she wanted and says she’ll continue to call for that, but she’s excited that lawmakers did pass an income tax cut for retired military veterans with at least 20 years of service.
You can see all of her vetoes here.