State Assembly to Nikki Haley: Don’t Take Away the Arts!
Both houses of the GOP-controlled South Carolina State Assembly are officially standing in opposition to a few outrageous line item vetoes that Governor Nikki Haley made in the budget for the new fiscal year.
The three most notable pieces of the budget that the Governor struck down were funding for the SC Arts Commission, funding for the Sea Grants Consortium (which supports research on the state’s coastline), and a $10 million earmark to raise teacher pay one time by 2 percent. If you’re wondering why Haley opposes the arts, which are an important part of any civilized society, coastline research, which is an intricate part of South Carolina’s beach tourism industry, and teacher pay raises, which have been frozen for years now, it’s simple: she wants to run for President one day. And every dollar she vetoes from the state budget is another dollar she can claim to have cut in a campaign ad.
That’s the kind of stuff that Republicans nationally will love, especially the tea party nuts Haley panders to, but it’s also the kind of stuff that local Republicans know is wrong. Maybe more pertinent than that, it’s the kind of stuff that will get them voted out of office. Just look at the massive protests, from online petitions to gatherings at the state capitol, to see evidence of that.
So, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the South Carolina House and Senate, respectively, voted overwhelmingly to override the most detrimental of the vetoes Haley made, including the three mentioned above. Since the vetoes came after the beginning of the new fiscal year (July 1st), the Arts Commission and the Sea Grants Consortium have been out of business since the vetoes, but they will be able to open back up as soon as Thursday. And no, the 40 total employees won’t get paid for the days missed- something they can thank that ever-posturing Governor of ours for.
Haley has been an opponent of the arts and public education in South Carolina since bursting onto the state’s political scene back in 2010, so these vetoes really come as no surprise. But just as they did when Mark Sanford tried to deny federal stimulus funds, the State Assembly proved they weren’t going to just fall into formation for Haley simply because of partisanship, and did what was best for the people of South Carolina.
That’s not to say the State Assembly is perfect, or I agree with everything they do. But it is nice to know that when push comes to shove, South Carolina is blessed with a legislature that is more interested in doing what they believe is right than doing what may be politically best for their party’s leader. That makes it a little easier to sleep at night. Just a little.
Look out for another article coming soon regarding Nikki Haley and why her politics are bad for the people of South Carolina.