GOVERNOR SUPPORTS GIVING TAX DOLLARS DIRECTLY TO TROOPERS,
OFFERS ASSISTANCE TO PRIVATE MEMORIAL FUNDRAISING EFFORT
Governor Mark Sanford today issued the following statement regarding his veto of a bill that seeks to spend $500,000 of taxpayer dollars on a Law Enforcement Memorial on the State House Grounds:
"It's not a question of supporting the memorial or supporting our law enforcement community, it's a simple question of timing," said Gov. Sanford. "Given the profound budget crisis we're up against - the worst in five decades - I believe the best way to honor these fallen heroes is to put that money directly toward pressing law enforcement needs in our state. Our Highway Patrol force is at its lowest level in over a decade and local law enforcement is also feeling the pressure of depleted manpower and resources. SLED is currently down 64 agents due to budget cuts. In fact, our Criminal Justice Academy - the state entity that trains all law enforcement personnel in South Carolina - has laid off 28 instructors in the last few weeks due to lack of funding."
"Let me make one thing perfectly clear - I am completely supportive of erecting a law enforcement memorial on the State House grounds to honor our fallen officers," Gov. Sanford said. "In fact, I am willing to lend my full support to a private fundraising effort to make sure that happens. If every member of the General Assembly joins me in either holding an event, writing letters to supporters or talking to friends and encouraging them to contribute, I have every confidence we can raise the money privately to fund this memorial in no time. We have an obligation to honor our fallen heroes, but in doing so we cannot neglect those currently risking their lives to protect us."