Haley budget vetoes due by midnight Thursday

abeam@thestate.comJuly 5, 2012 

Gov. Nikki Haley has until midnight Thursday to issue her budget vetoes.

The South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives approved a $23.6 billion spending plan last week that includes $6.9 billion in state tax dollars, about $8.7 billion in federal tax dollars and $8.1 billion in “other” funds -- which include things like fines and fees and college tuition payments at state universities.

A spokesman for Haley said the governor’s staff worked through the July 4th holiday to review the spending plan, which is several hundred pages. He said it could be Friday before the governor publicly releases the vetoes.

The budget lawmakers approved includes $42.6 million to give state workers a 3 percent pay raise, an extra $152 million in state tax money for public education and $300 million for a project to deepen the Port of Charleston. Lawmakers also agreed to lower the tax rate for some business owners to 3 percent from 5 percent over three years. The plan will cost $20 million each year.

At a news conference last week, Haley said she would not veto the entire budget, as her predecessor Gov. Mark Sanford once did. Instead, she could veto portions of the budget she does not agree with. State lawmakers will then come back to Columbia to vote to either sustain or overturn Haley’s decisions.

Reach Beam at (803) 386-7038.

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