Gov. Nikki Haley ordered Cabinet agencies to account for all of their land and buildings in order to reduce space and save money. Haley gave her appointed leaders until Dec. 15 of this year to turn in a list of properties and their uses for scrutiny.
Haley instructed that it is time to “thin out your agency, save funds… and simplify your budget.”
Marcia Adams, director of the state Budget and Control Board, says they have been trying to do this for years, but need help from the agencies themselves.
“I was shocked when I saw the pages and pages and pages of things that ya’ll own, I was just amazed at what we have on the books. And I know y’all can’t possibly know what all that is; it’s too much. It’s just too much,” Haley told Cabinet members at a meeting Monday.
Haley touted the recent consolidation of office space at the SC Department of Health and Human Services that recouped approximately $10 million in operating and maintenance costs.
A few Cabinet members said they were concerned that downsizing means dealing with the Legislature.
“We’re probably going to walk into a hornet’s nest,” said Kevin Schwedo, director of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Haley offered to work with the local delegations to convince them to downsize properties for cost savings.
“We won’t do anything without discussing it with the delegation first so that they are not caught off guard,” Haley responded.
The governor and her interim director of the Department of Employment and Workforce were criticized by rural lawmakers for closing some local employment services and consolidating them with larger centers.