For the first time in a long time, S.C. Gov.-elect Nikki Haley is moving in a direction consistent with the ideological beliefs that made her the Republican gubernatorial nominee – as well as this website’s first choice for governor of the Palmetto state.
In an interview with Associated Press reporter Jim Davenport published Friday, Haley says she supports immediately consolidating the state’s pardon and parole agency with its corrections department. That’s an idea that we’ve supported for years – and which was proposed most recently by S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg).
Not only that, once this consolidation is complete Haley says she wants to take a look at merging the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) with the newly created correctional agency.
These consolidations – and many others like them – are long overdue in South Carolina. Haley should push for them aggressively – and make sure that any savings which are achieved as a result of their implementation are rebated to the taxpayers, not spent by government elsewhere.
Speaking of which … we were also extremely encouraged to see Haley go on the record in support of a government spending cap that would rebate surplus money to taxpayers, not put it in a “rainy day” fund for government.
“When we grow over a certain amount, anything over that, send it back to the taxpayer,” Haley told Davenport.
This is why we support the efforts of S.C. Sen. Tom Davis – who has been pushing for a taxpayer rebate fund that would send surplus revenues and savings achieved from consolidation and other efficiencies back to the taxpayers.
Establishing such a fund would be a critical first step in forcing lawmakers to choose between government growth and investing in the people of this state for a change.
Now, it goes without saying that Haley hasn’t exactly been a woman of her word – whether in politics or her personal life. And after trailing the rest of the “Republican” ticket last month, she doesn’t have much in the way of a mandate to push through any of her ideas.
Still, compared to the status quo nonsense that she campaigned on in the 2010 general election – we welcome the fact that she is once again endorsing specific reform-minded policy.