South Carolina’s Travel and Tourism industry brings in about $18.4 million a year. Today, Governor Nikki Haley held a Governor’s Tourism Conference in Charleston to talk about the industry and what goals need to be set.
That’s for us to get independent and strong ourselves and not be dependent on the state budget and we can do that by a lot of things, and I certainly play an important role in that. The governor in this state should help market the state, you should help give people a reason to visit.
And, Haley says she is confident in her appointee to lead tourism in the state, Duane Parrish.
He’s lived it. He’s a business owner, he’s had business in almost every region of our state. He and I know one thing, we can talk about tourism all day long, but when it comes down to it it’s heads in beds, it’s people eating in restaurants, it’s people shopping in stores.
In a separate issue, The City of North Charleston and the State Ports Authority continue their battle on where a new rail system should go at the Port of Charleston–the northern or southern end.
Haley says when it comes to the promises made almost nine years ago in a memorandum, if an agreement was signed, it needs to stay that way.
If promises were made then promises will be kept. If things have changed then we will find out why they changed, but we are certainly going to go forward in a way that is productive. A lot of this gridlock has got to stop.
Haley met with House Speaker Bobby Harrell last week, who said he met with state and city officials.
I think he met with them there and felt like they had a great conversation in terms of that. So, I think he’s doing his homework. I’m going to give him the opportunity to do his homework, and find out exactly where we are at, I don’t think it will be long. I think it will be the next week or two weeks and we’ll understand exactly where all parties are coming from, and then we will get to work.
Haley says regardless, she wants the matter resolved.
Besides the port issues, Harrell has also been outspoken about provisos. As South Carolina faces a $700 million deficit, Governor Haley says she’s looking for money anywhere she can, but when it comes to provisos–
I think what we are going to do is we are going to educate on what is a proper proviso and what is not. First of all, you don’t legislate through a proviso.We shouldn’t be having laws made through provisos. I know that they have some restructuring issues, and as much as I want to restructure and as much as I want to consolidate state agencies, you don’t do it through a proviso, you do it through a law.
Haley explains why provisos are so dangerous–
“They are able to be changed every year, but they are not always changed every year. They are not always looked at to see if they still work. So, it’s a dangerous way to go when you don’t go back and to see if they are still what we want them to be.”
The governor says the only reason a proviso should ever be used is:
If there is certain money in an agency, it should direct that this money should be spent in this way and this agency. It shouldn’t be to legislate, it shouldn’t be to add or put extra money in there, it should be directly to show just how money is spent, not in any other way.
She says she does think proviso reform is on its way and it will come through educating as to what they should and shouldn’t be doing with them.
Haley made her comments on Charleston affiliate WTMA.