S.C. Gov.-elect Nikki Haley has announced four cabinet positions and named ten members of her senior staff – but nobody knows yet how much these employees are going to be paid.
That’s not good – at least not if you’re the self-proclaimed “Transparency Queen” of South Carolina.
To his credit, outgoing Gov. Mark Sanford provided salary information up front for all of his appointments – and we’re frankly kind of surprised that Haley (who built her brand on transparency) isn’t following suit.
Well … not that surprised.
Anyway, here are the current annual salaries for the appointments that Haley has made (and for the job that she’s taking):
Governor – $106,078
Secretary of Commerce – $144,746
Director, Department of Corrections – $144,746
Director, Department of Labor – $116,797
Director, Department of Juvenile Justice – $114,942
Governor’s Chief of Staff – $98,000
Governor’s Deputy Chief (Operations) – $85,733
Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff (Legislative and Communications) – ???
Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff (Policy and Cabinet) – ???
Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel – $75,000
Governor’s Press Secretary – $62,000
Governor’s Budget Director – $60,000
Governor’s Legislative Liaison – ???
Governor’s Cabinet Liaison – ???
Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff – ???
Obviously, Haley has announced several staff positions that do not currently exist in the governor’s office. Obviously that raises a couple of questions … first, how much is she going to pay these new employees? And second, where is she going to find the money to pay for them?
In the most recent budget, the governor’s office received $1.8 million. The governor’s office also oversees a variety of executive programs that received a combined $70 million – most of it funded by federal dollars. But these executive programs aren’t political positions – they’re jobs overseeing veterans programs or the guardian ad litem program, which represents the best interests of children in court cases.
At $20.8 billion, this year’s state budget is the largest ever – however the FY 2011-12 budget is reportedly facing a $1 billion shortfall. In fact three of Gov.-elect Haley’s cabinet agencies have asked permission to run deficits totaling $264 million.
Will Haley stay true to her fiscal conservative rhetoric insofar as her own salary? What about the size (and salaries) of her staff? Or the salaries of her cabinet appointments?
At this point we don’t know the answer to that question … because Haley hasn’t released any of that information.
Hopefully she will, but if she doesn’t then we’ll have some FOIA requests ready to go on January 12 that will hopefully provide you with that information.
UPDATE: Wow … looks like one of Haley’s newest blog buddies doesn’t like us holding the governor-elect’s feet to the fire on this issue.