COLUMBIA -- Gov.-elect Nikki Haley said Tuesday she hopes to be more successful than Gov. Mark Sanford was in getting lawmakers to pay attention to budget proposals from the chief executive, by improving engagement with House and Senate budget writers.
Haley's comments came as Sanford released his eighth and final budget in Spartanburg. His budgets have, over the years, consistently been nearly 200-page documents, with an equally thick appendix stuffed with charts and graphs.
"He's always got good ideas in his budget," Haley said. "He's always been great at cost-cutting measures. He's always been great at creating savings. We're going to go a little further by staying ... very involved in the budget process."
While on the campaign trail, Haley said she saw legislators throw Sanford's executive budget in the trash. She said then she also will provide an executive budget -- a requirement by law of the governor -- and testify in legislative committees to help provide lawmakers with her vision.
"The difference is the approach to the budget," Haley said Tuesday. "I will submit it, but I am not just going to print it and put it on a desk. I very much want to be involved in the budget process."
She said she will make her budget proposals as detailed as possible.
"I am a policy girl by nature," Haley said. "Numbers are something that I love."
Haley and Sanford, both Republicans, share similar philosophies about fiscal discipline and limited government, but Haley has tried to outline ways her service would be different than Sanford's, even though she was his hand-picked successor.
Sanford's two terms have been marked by his discord with state lawmakers. Haley is a former state representative from Lexington.
Haley, who will be inaugurated Jan. 12, has not provided an executive budget, saying Tuesday that she has been focused on selecting the members of her administration. She has appointed a Fiscal Crisis Task Force to study the budget shortfall and find ways to provide basic services as the economic downturn lingers.
Haley said she will study's Sanford's executive budget and incorporate what she supports in her own proposals.
Sanford submitted a $5.38 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts in June. He said his plan prioritizes programs and allows the state to provide core services without the federal stimulus dollars that have helped sustain spending in the last two budgets.
"This executive budget makes some very tough decisions, but it also offers three reforms that we believe will accrue to the taxpayers' favor: spending caps, state government restructuring and comprehensive tax reform," Sanford said in a statement.
"These measures would save taxpayer dollars and best serve our state as together we seek to make South Carolina a better place to call home."