It’s a new day for SC Government. On Nov. 2, 2010 SC elected its 116th Governor and the first female to serve as our Governor, Nikki R. Haley. Where will she lead SC in regards to education, jobs, taxes, etc.? These are questions many SC residents are concerned about. Haley campaigned as a conservative determined to affect change in SC including looking out for the taxpayer, pushing for transparency and more accountability, cutting wasteful spending and advocating a smaller, more efficient Government for SC. Let’s hope she is more successful at doing this than the Sanford administration.
After one week in office, Haley gave her first State -of- the- State address tonight at 7PM. She shared her plan for returning SC to a state that is out of debt and functioning again in the best interest of its residents.
Gov. Haley first recognized those South Carolinians in the military who paid with their lives this year while serving SC and our Country. She also recognized SC’s first female Brigadier General of the SC National Guard, Marie Golf. She then recognized her military husband Michael and their two children.
Haley began her speech with “The state of our State is challenged but optimistic.” She then asked South Carolinians to join her in being optimistic for our State and embrace its challenges.
Next Haley answered what she considers the most important question “What is the role of Government? It is to secure the rights and freedoms of the people and was never meant to be all things to all people. The government of SC must involve its residents in moving forward with one vision. To the legislature she said “Let the people save us,” they have spoken clearly about what is important to them.
She announced Bobby Hitt as the new Secretary of Commerce who he will lead SC in recruiting companies to SC, increasing jobs and improving economics. Small businesses will be strengthened and will have cash flow to hire people.
Catherine Templeton is the new head of LLR. The Senate approved the heads of these two offices during Haley’s first week in office. There are eleven more outstanding and Haley asks for their confirmation by the first week in February.
“This budget year is going to hurt” Haley stated. Haley said that they must start the budget at zero and ask “What do we have to have?” Haley wants a law in place that imposes only a three day wait between when the final budget (after committee approval) is produced and when it is voted on. She intends to involve herself throughout the budget process and communicate with the Legislature from start to finish.
Some of Haley’s proposals to ease our budgetary crisis without gutting core services are:
-Already accomplished in her first week in office, the Department of Alcohol and Other Substances has been moved to an empty Government owned building from a leased building which will save SC taxpayers $700,000 over the next 4 years.
-SC in 2011 can no longer fund the Arts commission costing SC 2.5 million per year, ETV TV costing 9.6 million, nor can SC continue to use taxpayer dollars on lobbyist costing 1.2 million dollars annually.
Allows private sector to be more creative and cost efficient.
-Haley wants the Legislature to remove the proviso that prohibits generic drugs being used by SC Medicaid patients for the treatment of cancer, HIV and mental health.
-Haley wants SC to be able to opt out of the new Health Care Bill and is actively looking for a way to do that. She stated that the Health Care Bill would cost SC 2.7 billion dollars over the next ten years. She supports the Attorney General’s legal action to repeal President Obama’s Health Care Bill.
-The SC will no longer work the system by chasing federal dollars to expand our budget. SC will work to make SC independent from the Federal Government and the hoops it requires us to jump through just to receive Federal dollars.
-Consolidating dept of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services with the Dept of Corrections with the goal of lowering the number of prisoners in SC. It costs SC $16,000 annually to incarcerate a single prisoner which is more than SC spends on a student annually.
-Allow Governor and Lt. Governor to run on the same ticket.
-Creation of a Dept. of Administration will hold the Governor accountable, increase transparency, and allow streamlining of the 1000 person agency saving SC money.
-Reform SDE including privatizing the school bus system and moving bus mechanics to the private sector.
-Make on the record voting a permanent law this year.
Haley ended the speech with encouraging all South Carolinians to remain positive and embrace the motto hanging on her door in the Governor’s office, “Can’t is not an option.” “God bless and may he continue to smile on SC”
Visit this link to watch the SC State-of-the State address in its entirety: State of the State | WSPA.
Personal viewing of WSPA’s live on-line streaming of Govn. Nikki Haley’s first State-of-the-State address on Jan. 19, 2011 @ 7PM