The South Carolina Legislature will return on July 26 with hopes of finalizing a redistricting plan for the state, but the regular session is over. Governor Nikki Haley says despite budget woes, she and the General Assembly had some success–
“We did pass tort reform this year. We do now have every legislator voting on the record on every piece of legislation, and having to vote on every section of the budget, which was huge. We passed Medicaid reform. We passed unemployment reform, where no longer do seasonal workers who work in waterparks and college students–they can no longer get unemployment when they leave, which is a great thing. We passed voter ID and we passed illegal immigration,” says Haley.
And, as for that looming budget–Haley says there’s more work to be done, but with time.
“When we talk about the budget, we have to start realizing that it is a culture change that we need in South Carolina. And, what I have attempted to do was very much what Governor Rick Perry and I have signed, which is the cut, cap and balance, which is: if we are balancing our budget, you know what I attempted to do was cut spending, what I attempted to do was talk about a cap,” says Haley.
The governor says to get the state back on track with spending, a cap is needed.
“Any additional money that falls should only go to three things: Pay down debt, tax relief or give it back to the taxpayers. It is just that simple. You are going to see me talk about that every year in our budget that we are going to live within our means because we came into a year where they said we were going to have a $800 million shortfall. We should go into every year assuming it’s going to be a tough budget year, and spend according to priorities. It’s not how much we spend, it’s what we spend on,” says Haley.
Haley says since she has taken office in January, the state has created more than 10,000 jobs.