The South Carolina House dealt with budget vetoes all day Wednesday and into the night. House members grabbed pizza to save time instead of breaking for lunch.
The state Budget and Control Board took the deepest cut–$29 million from its general fund that board officials say will lay off 180 workers, putting into question how state workers will be paid.
In his veto, Governor Sanford said that the Budget and Control Board will still have more than $1 billion in carry-over funds to sustain its operations, including $60 million in unrestricted accounts. Richland County Democrat Todd Rutherford.
The budget passed the House two weeks ago on a 64-54 party-line vote. Democrats said it failed to meet the most basic education and health care needs.
House members saved the technical education system, overriding three vetoes amounting to $4 million that would have taken out the system’s operating budget for 13 tech schools. Charleston County Democrat Anne Hutto said that the state’s technical schools are vitally important.
On a vote of 92-22 members overrode a veto that would have removed a major chunk of SC ETV’s training and programming, including teaching and law enforcement training. That $5.2 million is 52 percent of the agencies state funding. The House also protected $710,000 in funding that supported the governing board of ETV.
A casualty of the day was the Interstate 95 corridor project. Governor Sanford vetoed $3 million redirected from the Healthcare Settlement Fund to the Research Authority for the development of the rural area. The proviso would have amounted to $9 million, as it was tied to a two-for-one federal match. Governor Sanford argued that all areas of the state should benefit equally from matching funds. Marlboro County Democrat Doug Jennings spoke with Clarendon County Democrat Kathy Harvin.
A motion to reconsider the vote failed 61-49.
The House sustained the veto to cut more than $400,000 from the Human Affairs Commission, which Richland County Democrat Joe Neal said would make it much more difficult for people to voice concerns about descrimination.
The House sustained a veto against the Department of Consumer Affairs budget, causing that agency to lose most of its almost $1.3 million dollars in state funding. The agency also receives certain federal funding. Orangeburg Democrat Gilda Cobb-Hunter says:
House members overrode Governor Sanford’s veto that would have hurt funding for the State Museum. Richland County Democrat James Smith said that the $1.6 million had to be protected for the children of the state and everyone else.
Newberry County Democrat Walt McLeod said that school children from around the state commonly visit the State Museum and the Statehouse on the same day, and they shouldn’t have to pay for it.
The Arts Commission will keep $1.2 million that the governor had vetoed. Members voted 89-19 against a cut that would have eliminated all state funds for grants, programs and services including funding for arts curriculum in schools and community programs, and more than 70 percent of the commission’s personnel. Richland County Republican Jim Harrison talked about the essential nature of the arts.
The House supported the governor’s veto that eliminated $309,000 from the state film office.
Funding for the Department of Archives and History and aid to local public libraries both survived the veto process. The veto of $4.6 million in library funding would have closed some libraries.
Vetoes can only be overturned if two-thirds of both lawmaking bodies vote to do so.