Will the Legislature follow Gov. Nikki Haley's lead or will they buck in their own direction?
As lawmakers return to the capitol Tuesday, this year's priorities have been largely decided: improve the education system, better protect women and children and fix the state's crumbling roads.
Haley laid down her initial push in laying out her budget priorities Monday. For the second year in a row, she focused on improving the state's beleagured rural education system. That includes an interesting incentive plan for would-be rural area teachers. The plan would pay the public college education of those who agree to teach in some of the state's most troubled rural districts, the Post and Courier's Cynthia Roldan reported.
Other incentives would be available to those prospects. For those teaching and seeking a Master's degree, the state would also pick up the tab.
What didn't get as much attention as some thought in the governor's budget plan was the state's road system.
An additional $61 million would go to the Department of Transportation, money that would be funneled from the general fund and that comes from the tax the state makes when vehicles are sold. Haley said the rest of the road plan she promised during her campaign would come by "the end of this month."
(Insider bit: Lawmakers have said they expect Haley to address the issue in her "state of the state" speech.)
In other news...
Watchdog group files complaint against Mark Sanford (Post and Courier)
AG Wilson fights argues against health insurance subsidy (Post and Courier)
Is Charleston mayoral race most expensive ever? (Post and Courier)
Gov. Nikki Haley portrait unveiled (Post and Courier)