State Treasurer Curtis Loftis said today that Gov. Nikki Haley and Budget and Control Board staff are making backroom decisions that cut the public out of the process.
Loftis specifically criticized the hiring of a new S.C. Retirement Systems director, saying he was not consulted despite serving on the Retirement System's investment panel.
"They find the number of votes they need and they tell me after the fact," Loftis said.
Loftis said he did not know if the decision violated state open meetings laws.
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Loftis also criticized the five-member Budget and Control Board for failing to acknowledge publicly an $88 million increase in the state's portion of public-sector employees' retirement benefits. The board voted to deal with the question at a later meeting.
The five-member board – made up of Haley, Loftis, state Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, state Rep. Dan Cooper of Anderson and state Sen. Hugh Leatherman of Florence, all Republicans – also voted to provide an additional $100 million to fill a budget deficit at the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The board has already approved an extra $100 million for the agency, which at one point was running a $228 million deficit.
The agency is planning $7.5 million in cuts for the final three months of the budget year, which ends June 30, leaving about a $17.5 million deficit.