The Buzz

March 12, 2014

POLITICS: Nikki Haley on Obamacare bill, MOX snub, college gay-book penalties

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

Highlights from Gov. Nikki Haley's news conference on Wednesday:

On a Senate proposal preventing public employees from assisting people in enrolling for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act: “That bill is going to have a lot of changing parts so I’m not even going to look at it until I see what we end up getting back. As long as it’s legal, you will see me moving forward in continuing to fight Obamacare.”

On $70,000 taken from two colleges for assigning gay-themed books to freshmen: “We haven’t looked at all the details of the budget yet,” she said. “I don’t want to get into the details of what the House did because once the Senate gets it sometimes they change that.”

On the President’s federal budget proposal cutting a program at the Savannah River Site to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear reactor fuel: “When you suddenly say, ‘Oops we started this, and, by the way, we don’t have the money to continue it,’ yes, I’m going to get my back up,” Haley said. “We are fighters in South Carolina. We fight for what’s right. So we’re working with the attorney general on what that fight can look like.”

On getting funding for her education initiative in the final House budget: “I’m excited about the fact that I no longer will have to feel guilty that my daughter is getting a great education in River Bluff High School in Lexington and that I have to think about the children in Bamberg (where Haley was born) not getting the same thing."

On S.C. State University’s $13.6 million cash shortfall: “That remains to be seen. I think I will certainly have to work with the House and the Senate as we figure out the next step. We want to make sure that we aren’t putting a Band-Aid on something that continues to be wrong.” (She is awaiting an Inspector General’s report on the troubled school.)

On Department of Social Services’ record of deaths of children under the agency’s care: “All the numbers that I have worked with (agency director Lillian Koller) on have improved. DSS is a very difficult agency to run. Those public servants, what they see everyday is sad. Our job is to make sure we constantly improve those numbers (reducing child deaths).”

On whether Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell should become the next College of Charleston president: “That’s one of the decisions I don’t have to make and I am thankful I don’t have to make that. There is a board for that reason, and I will let them do their job.”

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