Governor Sanford: Senate Misses Chance to Improve Budget
Governor Mark Sanford today issued the following statement on the Senate's passage of its targeted budget cut plan:
"While we're pleased that the Senate stuck with the overall approach we called for in making targeted cuts, we're disappointed that they didn't take this opportunity to address some real flaws in this spending plan," Gov. Sanford said. "As we've said before, parts of this plan tie the hands of Medicaid, Commerce, and Parks, Recreation and Tourism in terms of not giving them the flexibility they need to perform their missions. As well, this budget does nothing to get us out of - and in fact makes worse - the roughly $270 million annualization hole that we're in, particularly when it comes to taking money that's already been committed by the Conservation Land Bank.
"We were disappointed that efforts at change - like Senator Jackson's proposal to shorten the length of the next session and Senator Ryberg's proposal to use Budget and Control Board funds to put more money into the classroom - were stifled by a number of tactics, among them misinformation. On the floor of the Senate it was suggested that Cabinet agencies have $600 million in unobligated carry-forward dollars, when in fact the number is a fraction of that. That presents the problem of not only squelching debate, but of not addressing budget problems that will continue to exist over the next several years
"We'll be taking a close look at this plan when it reaches my desk to determine what if anything can be corrected via a veto. In the meantime, it bears repeating that at the end of the day, this budget is the result of four years of reckless overspending by the legislature. Government has grown far faster than the pocketbooks and wallets of average South Carolinians, and the results of that overspending are likely going to be felt well into the future."