Gov. Mark Sanford’s cut into the Office on Aging was supported by the South Carolina House of Representatives.
The veto, which was sustained 98-12, was said to eliminate security funds for Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. According to John Legare, from the Office of Aging, which is run by the Lt. Governor, the veto amount of over $159,000 far exceeds the appropriated amount for the Lt. Governor’s security detail:
The Governor said he wanted to eliminate funding for security, an appropriation from [fiscal year] 07-08 in the amount of $90,000, which today after budget reductions is $67,853. To accomplish this goal, he has vetoed a line item of $159,238 that actually funded the Lt. Governor’s office staff. This veto far exceeds his stated goal of eliminating security for the Lieutenant Governor by 135 percent.
Legare explains that funding for salaries must now come from the Office on Aging, causing “a net decrease (federal and state funds) of $636,952.
Lt. Gov. Bauer, as head of the Office on Aging, made the case that he actually saved the state money by paying for travel and other things out-of-pocket.
Lt. Governor’s gotten to be an awful expensive job for me and that was one of the reasons I chose not to run for Lt. Governor again, versus running for governor. We’ve cut everywhere we can cut. If we cut any more, we aren’t able to provide to services that protect seniors.
Bauer says he and his staff have actually been able to put money back in the general fund. In the past, he used furloughs and saved money on rent.
The state’s Deparment of Health and Human Services Bureau of Senior Services became the Office on Aging and moved to the Lt. Governor’s office in 2004. It administers federal funds received through the Older Americans Act.