The SC legislative year is now over with a new state budget set to go into effect July 1. After Thursday’s vetting by the Senate, 35 of Gov. Haley’s budget vetoes were allowed to stand.
Among the 46 line item vetoes that were rejected were:
-$100,000 in repairs to the Barnwell County Courthouse
-$89,153 for a public information position at the State Museum
-$89,247 for the director of the Sea Grant Consortium
-$100,000 for DHEC’s Nurse Family Partnership
– $417,750 Arts Commission operating costs
– $2,999,999 for Office on Aging respite caregivers program
– $3,000,000 for Clemson University PSA – Advanced Plant Technology Lab
The State newspaper has a complete listing of vetoes and overrides.
Senators spent almost 10 hours considering and reconsidering the list, defending the programs specific to their districts.
Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston) at one point complained about what he called “vote trading.”
“I’ve got a real problem with that and if we engage in that behavior in this body … if you foster that, if you nurture it and let it become predominant in this body, which is about to happen in this debate on budget vetoes, you are doing the people of South Carolina a grave disservice,” said Campsen.
Campsen’s warnings did not curb the continued reconsideration of veto votes, however.
A recurring argument centered around the needs of rural areas, since local government funding has been below the established baseline since the Great Recession.
In his defense of repairs for the Barnwell County Courthouse, Sen. Creighton Coleman (D-Fairfield) said,”This is a core function of government and if we can help the municipality or county, we need to do that. It may be a county facility but we have state activities going in there all the time and we need to help a county if we can.”