Haley order addresses what she calls hidden budget earmarks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Gov. Nikki Haley is hoping to force South Carolina legislators to be more forthright about budget earmarks.

The Republican governor issued an executive order Thursday aimed at stemming so-called “pass-throughs.” That’s when legislators send money to an agency without its request, to be spent on local projects.

Her order requires Cabinet agencies to verify such projects benefit the public and fit the agency’s mission before funding them. It also requires an annual report detailing those earmarks.

Haley said last month while issuing her budget vetoes that pass-throughs are “really starting to become a problem.”

For example, this year’s budget allocated $6.4 million to the Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism for unspecified “revitalizations.” Legislators overrode Haley’s line-item veto.

The order covers the 16 agencies that report to Haley.

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