Here are some of Gov. Nikki Haley's vetoes announced Thursday that affect the Charleston area and Lowcountry:
North Charleston crime earmark
State Sen. Marlon Kimpson had originally asked for $275,000 for an anti-crime initiative specific to North Charleston. Haley said she differed on the method. "Local law enforcement should be funded locally," she said in her veto message. "I don't want to drag the Department of Public Safety into the business of doling out earmarks."
A Statehouse proviso changes the composition of the 10-member Hunley Commission by removing all four members representing the Executive Branch. The group was created to help steward the restoration, display and future of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley recovered off Charleston. "Reconstituting the governing panel of a state agency within the budget is an extremely dangerous precedent that I ask you to reject by sustaining my veto," Haley said.
Haley vetoed $100,000 for the nonprofit, saying the group failed to meet basic performance standards set up with the Department of Health and Human Services for a "school-based strategy to ensure that eligible children are enrolled in Medicaid." The group "was to design and pilot a tool-kit that could be used across the state to support school-based enrollment best practices," her note said. "However, it has been unable to successfully complete this task," said one excerpt, and she further noted that there has been no proof the effort has resulted in a meaningful impact. "We don't need another year of this," she wrote.
Lowcountry Graduate Center: $300,000
The Lowcountry Graduate Center in North Charleston involves a partnership of the College of Charleston, The Citadel and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Haley said while she supports expanded access to higher education, the center is already receiving $785,009 through the budget.
"If operating this site is such a money-loser for these institutions, then they should either recapture this from the students enrolled in courses at this site or else consider another method of offering this instruction," she said in her veto message. Later Thursday, she said there's no need to funnel more taxpayer money to the Center when it already has a surplus. "Let's remember in a budget, you don't ask for money just for the sake of asking for money."
Sea Grants Consortium - Stormwater Research
The Sea Grant Consortium received what Haley called "a generous increase of 21.8 percent" in recurring General Fund support in this year's budget. "We shouldn't compound this by adding an extra $100,000 above and beyond that for yet another new initiative," she said.
Palmetto Trail: $150,000
The Palmetto Trail is slated to cover 500 miles from the coast near Charleston to the mountains; 350 miles have been completed. Haley said the effort can continue through federal, state, and philanthropic funding pursued through the Palmetto Conservation Foundation to complete the remaining segments the trail needs. "We should address the needs of the State Park System before we provide funding for other park or recreation organizations," she said.
Francis Marion Commission: $100,000
The body was created to plan and implement a heritage tourism trail that focuses on the life and campaigns of Revolutionary War hero Gen. Francis Marion, around the northern Lowcountry and Pee Dee areas. "As noted above, I believe we should address the needs of the State Park System before we provide funding for other park or recreation organizations," Haley said.
Medal of Honor Bowl
This veto covers $300,000 for the Charleston-based post-season college game plus two other exhibition games held elsewhere in the state. The inaugural Charleston game was played at The Citadel earlier this year with the players being college stars. For the next game sponsors were to get $100,000 from the state, with the budget request coming from state Rep. Samuel Rivers, R-Goose Creek.
Rivers said Thursday that because the other two games were given $100,000 each, he now may not support the project at all, including his own request, because of the questionable nature of the entire package. "Most likely I'll support her veto," Rivers said.
Haley said she was vetoing the money for the games because it's "hard to imagine that these resources would be used to provide an essential state service."
Southeastern Wildlife Expo: $200,000
Haley has had issue with money going to SEWE before, saying the public is being asked to subsidize an event that financially does very well on its own. "Each year, the budget contains a $200,000 appropriation for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE), and each year, I veto it for a variety of reasons," she said. "First we shouldn't be spending taxpayer dollars to promote an event that has had no trouble attracting attendees even without our help. That's not the government's role. Second, SEWE doesn't need this money." SEWE has brought in more than 40,000 people to Charleston in some years.
Haley also pointed to SEWE's administrative set up. "The President/CEO of this organization not only draws a salary from Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Inc. but also owns half of SEWE, LLC, which was paid a $188,739 'management fee' in FY 2012-13. This six-figure compensation package doesn't need to be taxpayer subsidized," she said. "Please sustain this veto, and please stop putting this earmark in each year's budget."
Black Expo: $150,000
The budget includes $150,000 to be used exclusively for the marketing and promotion of the Columbia, Charleston and Upstate Black Expos, Haley said. "These events are organized by the Thomas Media Group, LLC, which is a for-profit corporation. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the marketing of these events." The Expo has attracted more than 25,000 people in some years.
Notice about comments:
The Post and Courier is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.