House Republicans and Democrats alike blasted Gov. Nikki Haley Tuesday for vetoing a resolution and, in a 111 to 1 vote, overturned her veto.
“This is a political ploy,” said Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Berkeley, of Haley’s veto. “Once again, (Haley) is working more on behalf of Georgia when it comes to this permit and this issue than she is on South Carolina.”
At issue is a water quality permit issued by Haley’s Department of Health and Environmental Control board that is helping Georgia expand its Savannah port. Lawmakers have charged the permit hurts South Carolina where the Charleston port also needs to be expanded.
Haley has defended the board’s decision. In her veto message, she said the legislature is overstepping its authority by trying to influence the issue. She has also vowed to work hard to find the money to expand the Charleston port.
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Lawmakers have been unconvinced. Both the House and the Senate recently passed a resolution, disavowing the DHEC permit decision and claiming the board lacked the authority to issue the permit. A lawsuit has also been filed to undo the decision.
Tuesday marks the second time House members have overwhelmingly backed their resolution. They -- as well as the Senate -- unanimously passed the resolution earlier this month.
“Maybe the second kick of the mule will do better than the first kick,” said House Minority Leader Harry Ott, D-Calhoun, urging his fellow lawmakers to overturn Haley’s veto. “And the governor of our great state will decide her job is to create jobs in South Carolina, not in Georgia.”
All House members with the exception of Rep. Ralph Norman, R-York, voted to overturn the veto.
Next, the Senate will consider overturning the veto.
-- Gina Smith