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HOUSE GOP NEWS — House Sustains 35% of Budget Vetoes

May 20, 2009


May 20, 2009


For More Information:
Majority Leader Kenny Bingham
(803) 734-3139

House Sustains 35% of Budget Vetoes
2010 Budget Back to 2001 Levels

COLUMBIA – The House of Representatives sustained 35% of the governor’s
budget vetoes Wednesday while restoring funding to schools, law enforcement
and healthcare. This action puts the final touches on a $5.7 billion budget
for South Carolina.

“Our budget this year is $5.7 billion dollars. When I entered the House in
2001, we had a $5.6 billion budget,” said Majority Leader Kenny Bingham of
Cayce. “Today, we’re spending more money on healthcare, we’re spending more
money on education, and we have economized and cut the fat from state
agencies. This is a budget based on our conservative principles.”

The vetoes came Tuesday afternoon after months of bobbing and weaving by the
governor about whether to accept the Federal “stimulus” money, and then how
to spend the money. On Tuesday, the Governor repeated a call to spend the
federal stimulus money on paying down state debt – a move that has been
rejected twice by the federal government.

“Last year, when the governor proposed a $7 billion budget, he couldn’t find
any money out of the additional $1.3 billion to pay debt,” Rep. Bingham
said. “This year, he proposed a budget with an additional $300 million more
than we have with no more money going to paying down debt.

“We went along with the governor’s 2010 budget request and spent the same
amount as the governor proposed on paying on the state debt.”

The Governor also rejected the General Assembly’s direction on the budget,
despite the clear instruction in the Constitution that the General Assembly
creates laws and appropriates money and the executive is charged with
executing those directions.

“Sometimes, there is a disconnect between blind ideology and responsible
government, and we’re seeing that in this debate,” said Rep. Bruce Bannister
of Greenville. “The Governor gave the House false, impossible choices on
the budget, so we had to approve a budget that responsibly spends the
taxpayer dollars trusted to us.”

The governor vetoed the entirety of Part 1A and Part 3 of the budget – which
is the vast majority of the money that keeps our government open. The
budget approved by the House cut most state agencies by about 20 percent to
save more than $1 billion.

“The choice the Governor has given our state is to re-write the budget,
which would take months and cost tens of thousands of additional taxpayer
dollars, or go to court to settle this,” said Republican Chief Whip Bill
Herbkersman of Bluffton. “Now, it looks like this might wind up in court,
which will waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars anyway as the state
sues the state.”


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