By FITSNews || The S.C. House of Representatives voted to sustain 51 of Gov. Mark Sanford’s 107 budget vetoes on Wednesday – resulting in $261 million in “savings.” Both the number of sustained vetoes and the dollar amount “saved” are records for the Sanford administration, which the governor called “an encouraging commitment by many lawmakers to a more fiscally responsible path for our state.”
“With a global recession forcing belt-tightening across the board, we sensed a growing recognition among many in the House and Senate of something we’ve advocated for years – namely, that government cannot grow faster than the underlying economy, and that tough decisions must be made now and not kicked down the road to next year,” Sanford said in a statement.
Of course, none of that money will ever make it back to the taxpayers of South Carolina. Instead, lawmakers will apply the money to an anticipated $1 billion shortfall in next year’s budget.
Also, despite this $261 million in “savings,” the total state budget for FY 2010-11 is approximately $20.8 billion – making it the largest spending plan in state history. S.C. lawmakers appropriated $20.8 billion two years ago and $20.6 billion last year – although revenue failed to keep up and they were forced to trim back both of those budgets to just over $20 billion apiece.
Sanford has had little success in the past pruning back these massive budgets, although this year voter angst has strengthened his historically weak hand.
Many speculated last month that Sanford would veto the entire budget – basically forcing state lawmakers back to the drawing board given the narrow margin with which their spending plan cleared the legislature. As reported first on FITS though, Sanford decided instead to issue a large batch of vetoes targeting specific programs he didn’t like.
Did Sanford go far enough with his veto pen? No. Did the House sustain enough of his vetoes? Obviously not.
The 56 vetoes that the S.C. House overrode – like funding for the Arts Commission – now go to the State Senate, where they face an uphill battle to be sustained.
To see how your State Representative voted on each one of Sanford’s 107 vetoes, click on the link to the House Journal below …
House Journal – Wednesday June 16, 2010