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Haley Vetoes 81 Items In $6.7B SC Budget

Nikki Haley
South Carolina Government
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has vetoed 81 spending items in the legislature's $6.7 billion budget. Her vetoes would completely eliminate the state arts commission and cut one-time money lawmakers hoped to use for teacher pay raises. Haley also vetoed the legislature's plan to divert part of the state's share of a national mortgage fraud settlement to a business incentive fund. The money was intended to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, but lawmakers want to use it for "closing the deal" with companies looking to locate in South Carolina. Haley says the state doesn't "need to go and raid from what the true mission of that fund was supposed to be to give to the commerce fund." "We don't win projects based on throwing money at companies," adds Haley. " We win projects based on a good business environment of tax relief, trained workforce and being a low-unionized state." Haley also aimed her veto pen at local projects she deems "pork" spending. On that list is money for a North Myrtle Beach museum and preserving African-American history sites in Charleston. "I could name 50 cities that would love to have our state give money to their museum," says Haley. "This is not the way we govern. This is not the way taxpayers intended their money to be spent." Haley says her vetoes are an effort to help the state "live within its means." South Carolina lawmakers will return to Columbia later to consider overriding the vetoes.