Gov. Nikki Haley vetoes legislator pay increase, earmarks

Published: Jun. 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2016 at 1:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Just days after the General Assembly wrapped up work on the state's budget, Gov. Nikki Haley has vetoed 76 items from the budget with an overall projected savings of $18.5 million.

"This budget also contains dozens of earmarks and directed appropriations that benefit special interests at the expense of the general public," said Haley in her veto letter to House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

Those 76 vetoes mostly cover earmarks asking for new jobs and new spending on several non-governmental programs, Haley's final veto will be the one everyone will talk about: raising pay for legislators.

In the budget compromise put forth to Haley, legislators would have received an additional $1,000 monthly for in-district expenses. Legislators haven't raised their stipend since 1995.

Haley, however, did not agree with the raise.

"In a budget that gives state employees a 2% raise, the General Assembly has decided to raise its own pay by $12,000. I don't believe this is appropriate, nor do I believe the public will see it as an acceptable expenditure of taxpayer dollars."

There were no vetoes at all for K through 12 education in the Palmetto State mainly because Haley's education reform initiative passed in the budget.

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