Piglet protests aside, SC now has budget including 3% state worker raise - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Piglet protests aside, SC now has budget including 3% state worker raise

(Columbia-AP) May 28, 2004 - The state's $5.5 billion budget is law after the Senate overrode all but six of Governor Mark Sanford's vetoes on Thursday. The General Assembly agreed with the governor on just seven of his 106 vetoes.

Sanford won mostly minor fights in the spending plan, which pays off a $155 million deficit from two years ago and gives state workers a three percent raise. That's their first in two years.

Sanford carried two squealing piglets to the House and Senate earlier Thursday to decry what he saw as pork in the budget. Speaker David Wilkins of Greenville called the unusual protest undiginified and embarassing. Sanford called it "lighthearted."

The House on Wednesday took only about two hours to override 105 of the governor's 106 vetoes with little debate. See the governor's veto message>>

But, as much as Sanford huffed and puffed, the Senate still mostly blew his vetoes down. The governor's vetoes on an Upstate hot air balloon festival and a college football bowl game in Charleston ultimately were overridden. The budget called for $380,000 toward the game and a 35,000 seat stadium.  In all, the Senate gave discussion to a little over a dozen items on Sanford's list.

Those vetoes sustained include how the Department of Social Services reimburses child care providers and an item preventing the transfer of the State Aeronautics Commission from the Commerce Department to the Transportation Department.

In making his vetoes Sanford said he questioned whether it was election-year politics driving lawmakers to rely too much on one-time money or funds that may not materialize. Sanford questioned plans to spend more than $90 million expected from tougher tax law enforcement. He says the state is unlikely to get more than $50 million from the effort.

The budget takes effect July 1st. The General Assembly adjourns June 3rd.

posted 8:02am by BrettWitt with AP

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