2010-06-18 / Government / Neighborhood

Leaks from the legislature

governor vetoes budget
By Wes Wolfe

State legislators returned to the General Assembly this week to take up another round of vetoes issued by Gov. Mark Sanford in relation to the state budget. The initial reaction to the vetoes that were issued on June 9 centered on a complete axing of Part IV, which deals with $214 million in health care funding. Under the line item, Sanford justifies his veto because the funding would place the budget out of balance, which would be in violation of the state constitution.

The governor and his staff are operating, on the whole, with a different set of revenue numbers than the General Assembly. He opposed the federal government’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 and further opposes the full provision in the act that allows states to use money in the act for the 2010–2011 fiscal year. Sanford’s budget included money from the first two, but not all eight quarters. The General Assembly included all eight, though the other six are promised by the Obama administration but not for certain.

However, the vetoes of discussion that led the news for this special session were all about state support for the arts, museums, and libraries. The S.C. Arts Commission will lose $1.4 million, the State Museum and its related entities will see a slash of nearly $1.7 million and aid to county libraries—administered by the S.C. State Library—will face a cut of $4.65 million. In another veto, the State Library gets another $1.17 million reduction. The Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum, located at the State Museum, will have its future decided when the veto slicing all Budget & Control Board funding is considered.

Of particular interest is all but a declaration of financial war against S.C. Educational Television. In three vetoes, ETV sees its general fund hit by $1.18 million, $3.35 million, and $710,000. The technical college system also sees massive cuts of $3.01 million, $624,717, and $367,724.

As to whether the vetoes get overturned or not was the biggest unknown as dawn broke Tuesday. For the past several years, it’s been a matter of course that almost all of the vetoes are overridden. Part of this reason was a simple lack of cooperation between Sanford and Republicans in the General Assembly. But this session has seen the Republican leadership and a chastised Sanford working with less animosity.

In order to avoid a veto of the entire budget, the House Republican leadership, Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell (R–Charleston), Ways and Means chairman Dan Cooper (R–Anderson), and Majority Leader Kenny Bingham (R–Lexington) made a deal with Sanford to hold up a good number of vetoes. Rep. James Smith (D–Richland) has said that Democrats will vote en mass to overturn each veto.

S. 1167 passes

In news of bills passing, Sanford signed into law S. 1167, which repeals a law passed in 1951 that required all “subversives” to require people to register with the state government and provide the names and contact information

On–Call Handyman Service of people in their organization. The repeal is part

of an effort to clean up the state Code of Laws.

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Ceramic Tile • Privacy Fencing Wolfe is the proprietor of WolfeReports.com and Rotten Wood Repairs • Yard Haul-Off has written for 11 publications in five states. 429-8288

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