Governor Sanford: New Budget Bill Confirms Need for Budget Vetoes
GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL THAT REDIRECTS MONEY
TO PAY FOR SCHOOL BUS FUEL, ELECTION
Governor Mark Sanford today signed H.4355, an acknowledgment by the General Assembly that this year's budget failed to address core state needs like putting fuel in school buses.
In May, the governor vetoed 69 items from the state's spending plan for a total of $72 million. The legislature sustained just $369,000 in vetoes, leaving gaping deficits at the Department of Corrections and the Department of Education to the tune of nearly $30 million.
The new bill passed by the legislature redirects some money to cover fuel needs at the Department of Education and the cost of the November election. However, because of falling revenue projections, the Department of Education's overall deficit level will remain roughly the same.
"While we would give some small measure of credit to the General Assembly for not enlarging the deficit they've created, this action is quite frankly too little too late," Gov. Sanford said. "Between budget deficits and using one-time money to pay for ongoing needs, next year our state is going to start almost $200 million in the hole - and that's a best case scenario at this point. This once again highlights the importance of making tough choices while times are good, so that we won't face cuts to some of government's most critical functions when revenues aren't coming in at record levels. The bottom line is that you can't grow government by 40 percent over three years without it catching up with you at some point - and this bill is a reminder that freewheeling spending of the past few years has indeed caught up with us."