E-Release – Governor Sanford: Start Over on Spending Plan
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
MARK SANFORD, GOVERNOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joel Sawyer – 803-734-2100 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Sanford: Start Over on Spending Plan
GOVERNOR VETOES STIMULUS FUNDS, 47 ADDITIONAL BUDGET PROVISIONS
Columbia, S.C. – May 19, 2009 – Governor Mark Sanford today vetoed state budget sections compelling him to spend stimulus funds, saying the budget failed to put South Carolina in a better post-stimulus financial position, and that it wasted a once-in-a-generation chance to make much-needed reforms to state government.
Governor Sanford vetoed part 1A of the budget, the budget’s main spending portion, and Part 3, the portion that directs stimulus spending, in their entirety. Governor Sanford has advocated throughout the budgeting process using $700 million in stimulus money – about 10 percent of the total headed to South Carolina – to pay down state debt.
The governor separately vetoed 47 provisos that made inefficient structural changes, continued wasteful practices, or represented misplaced priorities. In his veto message, the governor said the spending plan suffered from fundamental flaws in the way it failed to set priorities and failed to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the stimulus to address debt repayment like the $20 billion in unpaid for political promises tied to the retirement system.
“If a prudent family received a windfall like what is represented by this stimulus bill, they would use at least a small portion to pay down debt like the mortgage and credit cards – and to that end, we’re disappointed that the General Assembly didn’t follow suit,” Gov. Sanford said. “What’s worse is that this budget is written in such a way as to make a political point, with stimulus dollars being used to fund core agency budgets rather than setting priorities and restructuring through the budgeting process. Quite simply, the General Assembly needs to start over on its spending plan if we’re going to have a responsible state budget that not only looks out for current taxpayers, but future generations as well.”
Among other items the governor vetoed were:
* The newly created “Capitol Police Force,” aimed at protecting entrances to the legislators’ garage
* A provision that prevents exploring privatization of state-owned golf course parks that lose $500,000 annually
* A legislative attempt to avoid $350,000 in cost savings related to state aircraft by moving the state Aeronautics Commission to the Budget and Control Board
* A prohibition on the Highway Patrol recouping costs from game day traffic control, part of the nearly $1 million annually it costs the Highway Patrol to provide traffic enforcement at special events
* A $37 million raid of the state’s Insurance Reserve Fund, and a $15 million raid on unclaimed property in the Treasurer’s Office