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Statement from Gov. Nikki Haley on ObamaCare ruling

January 31st

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley released the following statement on today's ObamaCare ruling:

"We have long argued that, among its many other flaws, the national health care law is unconstitutional, something that is now increasingly clear to all.  South Carolina must take steps to avoid this unconstitutional infringement – one we do not want and cannot afford.  We can improve health care in our state without this massive mandate from Washington, and that's what our Administration, working with the General Assembly, will do."

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Gov. Haley announces Chad Walldorf as next BEA chairman


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced Chad Walldorf, of Sullivan's Island, as the next Chairman of the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors (BEA).  

 "We need a person at BEA who will provide us with accurate information and who understands the budget problems we're dealing with, and Chad Walldorf is that person," said Governor Haley.

 Walldorf served as Vice Chairman of Gov.-elect Haley's transition team. He is a businessman who was named a 2004 Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" for the Carolinas and a member of the inaugural class of the Liberty Fellowship. 

 Walldorf served in the Reagan White House's Office of Political Affairs and for two years as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Sanford where, amongst other things, he oversaw the implementation of the state's first activity-based budgets.  He chaired the 2007 Government Efficiency and Accountability Review (GEAR) Commission which resulted in detailed recommendations for the Budget and Control Board with half a billion dollars in estimated savings.

 "There is considerable work ahead of us given our state's difficult budget situation," said Walldorf.  "However, I am encouraged by the team Governor Haley has put together and her vision for conservative reform that she is implementing.  I look forward to working with the members of the BEA and Budget and Control Board to help put our fiscal house back in order."

BEA prepares and reviews economic forecasts and general fund revenue projections and advises the Budget and Control Board and the General Assembly on fiscal matters. The chairman of the BEA reports directly to the Budget and Control Board to establish policy governing economic trends.

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Gov. Haley appoints Charleston's Duane N. Parrish for PRT post


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced Charleston's Duane N. Parrish as her choice to be the next Director of South Carolina's Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT). Currently the Chairman of the South Carolina Hospitality Association, Parrish is also President of Premier Hospitality Group (PHG) where he is responsible for all daily operations and oversight of development, human resources, accounting and real estate sales.
To watch video of today's press conference, click here.
"What we looked for in a PRT director is someone from the private sector who knows the tourism industry, its players, and, most importantly, that tourism is critical to economic development and job creation in our state," said Gov. Haley. "That's why we're extremely excited to welcome Duane Parrish to our team. He will work around the clock, seven days a week, to ensure South Carolina is the premier destination for tourists from around the country and around the world."
Prior to forming PHG, Parrish held senior management positions with Promus Hotels (now Hilton Hotels), Holiday Inns and Ramada Inns. He has opened, operated or renovated 21 hotels. Parrish's hospitality experience also includes management of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"I can't tell you what an honor it is to market the greatest product in the country – our state," said Mr. Parrish.

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Gov. Nikki Haley praises Tony Keck confirmation


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today released the following statement after the State Senate confirmed Tony Keck as Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:

"I'd like to thank the Senate, and its Medical Affairs Committee chaired by Senator Harvey Peeler, for moving swiftly to confirm Tony Keck," said Gov. Haley. "Tony's confirmation is a win for South Carolina. He is one of the brightest health care minds in the country, and we're on the same page when it comes to fighting for health care reform that serves taxpayers without compromising quality of care."

Mr. Keck served under Governor Bobby Jindal as Deputy Secretary of Louisiana's Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) and served as Interim Secretary of Louisiana's DHH briefly. He is the third confirmed Cabinet appointee, following Bobby Hitt (Commerce) and Catherine Templeton (LLR).

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Gov. Haley announces Upstate businessman David Black to lead Insurance

January 20th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced the appointment of Greenville's David Black to be the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance. For video of the press conference, visit:

"We're thrilled that David Black has agreed to serve at the Department of Insurance," said Gov. Haley. "David Black comes from a business and insurance background – he's a former CEO at Liberty Life – and he is both highly qualified and highly recommended. Most of all, he understands that Insurance can and should be an economic development agency, and that the agency must be as customer friendly and as pro-business as possible. "

Mr. Black served as President and CEO of Liberty Life Insurance Company in Greenville from 2004 to 2010. A graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and Clemson University, Mr. Black served in various capacities at the Liberty Corporation in Greenville from 1982 to 2000. Mr. Black previously served on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

"I want to thank the governor for this vote of confidence," said Mr. Black. "I'm really excited to accept this appointment. I look forward to working with the whole team. As the governor has said, we want to do all that we can to be pro-business in our state to drive economic development and to improve the quality of life. I think that the insurance industry plays a significant role in making that happen."

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State of the State Message

As Prepared for Delivery

January 19th

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers and my fellow South Carolinians:

Let me start tonight with a tradition established by my predecessor, who recognized the certain truth that nothing said in this Chamber tonight or done in this Chamber tomorrow would be possible without the sacrifices and commitment of the men and women in uniform who bravely serve our nation.

Complete State of the State Message [PDF]

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Statement from Gov. Nikki Haley on King Holiday

January 17th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today released the following statement:

"Over four decades ago, a visionary man of faith successfully lead a historic struggle that changed our nation forever. Today, I join all South Carolinians in honoring and remembering Dr. King's dream, where every citizen blessed to live in America continues to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities of this great nation at its best."

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Gov. Nikki Haley announces DOT, DMV appointments

January 14th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced Robert St. Onge, Major General, United States Army (Retired), to be the next Secretary of the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Colonel Kevin A. Shwedo to be the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

"When you come from the kind of military backgrounds that our nominees do, you have unique and invaluable experience running complex organizations efficiently and effectively without letting politics get in the way," said Governor Haley. "We're excited to welcome Bob and Kevin to our team not just because they've served our country; we're excited that they're going to be able to do great things for DOT and DMV."

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, St. Onge was Deputy Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs from 2001 – 2003 and Commandant of West Point from 1995 – 1997. He was president of Linguist Operations and Technical Support at L-3 Communications from 2006 – 2010.

Col. Shwedo has served as Deputy Commanding Officer of the United States Army Training Center at Fort Jackson for seven years. For more than 30 years, he has served in various leadership and developmental positions within the Army.

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Gov. Haley nominates Toomey for DAODAS, announces agency consolidation

January 14th

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Governor Nikki Haley today tapped Bob Toomey to be the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS). The governor also announced plans for DAODAS to move into empty office space at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Administrative Offices, which will allow two state agencies with similar missions to better serve our citizens and save taxpayers approximately $700,000 over the next four years.

"While South Carolina families try to do more with less, government frequently manages to do less with more," said Gov. Haley. "But that changes today. With the appointment of Bob Toomey, we welcome a public servant to our team. Bob understands the importance of improving the quality of critical services – including prevention and treatment of substance abuse and addiction – to keep people out of our hospitals and prisons. And when we consolidate state agencies with similar missions, we can improve service and save tax dollars."

Toomey has served in critical state government roles for many years. Toomey currently serves as Executive Director of the Medicaid Health Plans of South Carolina. He served as Governor Mark Sanford's interim director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in 2003 and director of the South Carolina Retirement System from 1996 - 2002. Prior to that, Toomey served as deputy director of the Budget and Control Board from 1993 - 1996 and executive deputy commissioner and director of planning at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health from 1988 - 1993.

"I look forward to the opportunity to work with Governor Haley and the dedicated professionals at DAODAS," said Mr. Toomey. "Together, we can and will find ways to do more with less."

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Gov. Haley announces Koller as next DSS chief

January 14th

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Governor Nikki Haley today announced Lillian B. Koller as the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. Gov. Haley made the announcement at her first press conference since being sworn in yesterday at the 95th South Carolina Inaugural.

"I want to congratulate Lillian and welcome her to our team," said Gov. Haley. "Like we've done many times during our Cabinet search, we went across this country to find the best person that we could find to head the Department of Social Services, and that's how we found Lillian – someone who has been honored with award after award for achievements in getting results for families and children and making government more transparent and accountable."

Koller, honored as the 2008 Governing Magazine "Public Official of the Year" for achievements in child welfare services and Medicaid, served as Director of the Hawaii State Department of Human Services for seven years. During her tenure as Human Services director, Koller reduced by 50 percent the number of children in foster care and established the nationally acclaimed Differential Response System to ensure better responses to reports of child abuse and neglect. The U.S. Administration on Children, Youth and Families gave Koller the "Commissioner's Award" for exceptional contributions to preventing and treating child abuse and neglect.

"I'm looking forward to this opportunity that Gov. Haley has given us to be a part of an exemplary team," said Ms. Koller.

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Inaugural Address

As Prepared for Delivery
January 12, 2011

The Statehouse, Columbia

GOVERNOR NIKKI R. HALEY: I want to thank each and every one of you for coming out on this beautiful, chilly morning.
On this special day, I want to thank Michael and my two sweet children for the unconditional love and support they continue to show me. We as a family are honored to serve this great state.
Michael and I want to thank both of our families for the strength, guidance, and advice they give us during the best and the most challenging times.  They are constant reminders of what it means to carry ourselves with grace and dignity.
We want to thank Governor Mark Sanford for his service to South Carolina and his fight for the citizens of this state.  
To Ms. Jenny Sanford, thank you for representing South Carolina with strength and grace for the last eight years. Your friendship has meant so much to our family.
To the Sanford boys, thank you for allowing the people of South Carolina the opportunity to watch you grow up into fine young men.  Rena and Nalin look forward to continuing your games and mazes at the Mansion.
Today is a great day in South Carolina!
It's a day for new beginnings.  It's a day to turn the page from the past. And it's a day filled with anticipation of the next chapter in our state's future.
Before we talk about our bright future, it's important to pay respect to our past.  Our state has an incredibly powerful and rich history.  It is one that has not always been pleasant, but one that can teach us many great lessons.
We have a history of fierce independence, and that independence has some remarkable relevance for us today. While in 1773 it was the Tea Party in Boston that became famous, there was also a whole lot of tea dumped in the Charleston harbor that December. We declared independence from Great Britain some four months before Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. And at Kings Mountain just over our northern border, our local militia -- not professional soldiers -- helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War that brought us the freedom we still enjoy to this day.
Let's see: tax protests, tea parties, the grassroots beating the professionals -- it does have a certain familiar ring to it.
Of course, when talking about our past, it would be wrong to mention our greatness during the revolutionary period without noting the ugliness of much that followed.  The horrors of slavery and discrimination need not be retold here.  They too remain a part of our history and a part of the fabric of our lives.
But I do take comfort in, and agree with, the words of columnist George Will, when he recently wrote this about our state's past struggles: "If the question is which state has changed most in the last half-century, the answer might be California.  But if the question is which state has changed most for the better, the answer might be South Carolina."
I stand before you today, the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Growing up in rural, small town South Carolina, my family experienced this state and this country at its best. No, not every day was perfect. No, we were not always free from the burdens faced by those who look and sound different.
But we counted our blessings, and my parents reminded me and my brothers and sister every day how blessed we were to live in this country.  We saw the constant example of neighbors helping neighbors.  
For us, happiness existed in not knowing what we didn't have, and in knowing that what we did have was the opportunity to better our lives through hard work and strong values.
You see, my mother was offered one of the first female judgeships in her native country, but was unable to serve on the bench because of the challenges of being a woman in India.  Now she sits here today watching her daughter become Governor of South Carolina, the state she proudly calls her home.  When you grow up with a mom like that, the word "can't" is not in your vocabulary.
I will always be the proud daughter of immigrants.  I will always cherish our family's experience.  And I will always strive in my actions and in my words to make South Carolina a place where all of our children, regardless of race or gender, know that unlimited opportunities for happiness and success await them.
Today, our state and our nation face difficult times.  Far too many of our fellow citizens are without a job.  Our economy is not growing as it should.  Our state budget has its largest shortfall ever.
But when I survey this troubled landscape, I am not discouraged.  We have faced tougher times before and come through them.  We know that tough times can produce some of the best decisions.  And it is our duty to make this time of challenge into the opportunity it can be to turn our state around.  It is indeed a new day, and on this new day, we must commit ourselves to the proposition that failure is not an option.
When I think on our present economic challenges, I am reminded of the words of Margaret Thatcher, who said: "Once we concede that public spending and taxation are [more] than a necessary evil, we have lost sight of the core values of freedom."
Nearly two years ago, the federal government in Washington decided to transfer its irresponsible fiscal practices to the states. And our state, like every other, accepted it.  When we produce this year's budget, we will see the heavy price we pay for having done so.
In our coming actions, we must recognize that we will not produce the jobs our people deserve by placing higher tax burdens on our workers and our small businesses.  And we will not reach prosperity by increasing state government's share of our economy.  
Be assured, however, that I have every confidence we will achieve a much more prosperous place.  And we will do so by going back to that spirit of independence that fueled South Carolina's leading role in defeating the strongest nation on earth two centuries ago.
When we embark on this new journey toward growth and prosperity, we must do so together, with one vision. A vision that is focused on the success of our families and businesses is a vision that is not impaired by partisanship, personalities, or distractions. We don't have time for that, and I won't stand for it.
Many times over the last eighteen months I asked South Carolinians to join a movement.  That movement was never about one person or one election.  Our state constitution requires the Governor and the General Assembly to work together to serve South Carolina well.  And work together we will.
But the energy that drives our cooperation does not come from within this beautiful capitol building behind me. The energy comes from the sound of the people's voices.  The success of the movement I asked you to join will be realized when elected officials are accountable for their votes, when citizen participation in government reaches new heights, and when the voice heard loudest is neither mine nor any other elected officials', but is that of the taxpayers of this state.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, we have the opportunity to reduce state spending and make it more efficient.  We have the opportunity to improve education and allow our children to be successful regardless of where they are born.  We have the opportunity to strengthen our small businesses to help them create the jobs our people need.  We have the opportunity to restructure our state government to make it more transparent, more accountable, and more respectful of the people of South Carolina.  
We must seize these inspiring opportunities.  If we do, we will have a state where good jobs are in constant supply, where South Carolina becomes the envy of the nation, and where we are so free of political distractions that the media is forced to report on good news.  Just imagine that.
That is my South Carolina.  It's the South Carolina I want for my children and for every family in our great state.
So, with faith in God, who knows what is right,  And faith in our own ability to use the skills and judgment He gives us to do what is right, we can make this vision a reality.
Thank you.  May God bless South Carolina.  And may He continue to bless the United States of America.

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Gov.-elect Haley to nominate Kitzman, recommend Adams for Budget and Control Board posts

January 7th, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor-elect Nikki Haley today announced her intention to nominate Eleanor Kitzman to be the next Executive Director and her recommendation of Marcia Adams as the next chief of staff of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board. The governor-elect announced her intention following the resignations of Budget and Control Board Executive Director Frank Fusco and chief of staff Eddie Gunn and also announced that the Board will meet on Thursday, January 13.

Members of the Budget and Control Board issued the following statements:

Gov.-elect Haley: "First, I'd like to thank Frank Fusco for his service to the state of South Carolina. We've always said we needed fresh ideas and fresh eyes in some of state government's most critical roles, and that's what Eleanor Kitzman and Marcia Adams offer the Budget and Control Board as they take a hard look at the Board's core mission. I'm very grateful to have the Board's support for these nominations."

Senator Hugh Leatherman said: "Frank Fusco and Eddie Gunn are the epitome of public servants. Frank's entire career has been about continuous improvement and reform that results in value for taxpayers. Eddie has willingly accepted some of the most difficult assignments in state government over the years, and he has always performed with distinction. I'm confident that Ms. Kitzman and Ms. Adams will continue the legacy of public service and leadership as they serve the five Board members and the citizens of South Carolina. Challenges lie ahead including the creation of a Department of Administration. So, I'm counting on Ms. Kitzman and Ms. Adams to work with the General Assembly as we develop a new organization that offers Gov.-elect Haley the government structure she needs as we all do more with less."

House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Cooper said: "The State of South Carolina owes Frank Fusco a debt of gratitude for over three decades of tireless service to its citizens. Through twenty-one years of working with Frank I have come to know him as an innovative leader whose efforts towards increased accountability in state government saved the taxpayers millions of dollars. It has been an honor and privilege to work with him. I am confident the new leadership at the Budget and Control Board will address the challenges that lie ahead in state government. I believe Ms. Kitzman is a qualified candidate and look forward to discussing the challenges and opportunities with her."

Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom said: "It's been a privilege working with Frank on the Board. He's served us during some of the most turbulent economic times in its history. I thank him and wish him the very best in his retirement. The Board is a complex organization that impacts every other agency in state government. In bringing in a new leadership team with Eleanor and Marcia, our highest priority needs to be to make needed reforms to assure that tax dollars are being used as efficiently as possible."

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Gov.-elect Haley announces Rogers to lead PPP

January 6th, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor-elect Nikki Haley today announced Lynne W. Rogers as the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (PPP). Rogers, who lives in Columbia, is currently the Deputy Director and General Counsel of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR), where she has served since 2003.

The governor-elect also announced her support for State Rep. Bakari Sellers' legislation (H. 3267) that would consolidate PPP into a division of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, streamlining administrative services and saving tax dollars.

"Today we're not just announcing another agency head, we're announcing a coalition," said Gov.-elect Haley. "Lynne Rogers is someone who is extremely strong and fair. She will work well with the next Corrections director Judge Byars and the next Juvenile Justice director Margaret Barber. What I have asked the three of them to do is to get together to give us group goals on how we are going to reduce the recidivism rate."

Prior to joining the team at LLR, Ms. Rogers was Director of Safe Schools and Youth Services at the South Carolina Department of Education, General Counsel at the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Head Attorney at Richland County Department of Social Services and Staff Attorney at the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. She is a former instructor at the University of South Carolina's Children's Law Office where she provides legal training for child abuse and neglect caseworkers.

"I want to thank Governor-elect Haley for the opportunity to continue my service to the people of South Carolina," said Ms. Rogers.

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Gov.-elect Haley announces Etter for Revenue post

January 5th, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor-elect Nikki Haley today announced James F. Etter as her appointment to be the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Etter, who lives in Blythewood, is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Norco Equipment LLC in Columbia.

"We've always said we wanted strong people on our team who know what it's like to be on the other side of the red tape," said Gov.-elect Haley. "That's exactly what we get with Jim Etter. He has invaluable experience, having been involved in every aspect of accounting, and knows what it takes to keep businesses in compliance while also keeping them strong and growing."

Prior to working at Norco, Etter served as vice president and chief financial officer at Thermal Engineering Corporation in Columbia and vice president and chief financial officer of Young Pecan Shelling Company in Florence. Etter was also appointed by the United States Bankruptcy Court to administer the liquidating operations of HomeGold Financial Inc.

"It's an honor to serve on Gov.-elect Haley's team," said Mr. Etter. "We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us. We're ready to work hard to make our state the most competitive and business friendly in the country."

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Gov.-elect Haley announces Keck as next DHHS director

January 4th, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor-elect Nikki Haley today announced Anthony E. (Tony) Keck as the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Mr. Keck currently serves as Deputy Secretary of Louisiana's Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) and served as Interim Secretary of Louisiana's DHH briefly last year.

"We searched across the country for an expert in health care reform," said Gov.-elect Haley. "I wanted someone who understands that South Carolina will not be a victim to health care mandates pushed down by Washington, but instead we will be proactive and fight to create reforms that serve tax payers without compromising on quality of care. We found that person – and his name is Tony Keck."

Mr. Keck is Gov.-elect Haley's fifth Cabinet appointment. Prior to serving as Deputy Secretary and Interim Secretary of Louisiana's DHH, Mr. Keck was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's policy advisor for Health and Social Services and DHH chief of staff. Keck is a Doctor of Public Health candidate at Tulane University and holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan.

"There is an enormous opportunity under the leadership of Governor-elect Haley to accomplish great things at DHHS," said Mr. Keck. "There is hard work ahead of us, but the governor-elect has passion and vision. The foundation is here. I look forward to getting started."

Former DHHS Director Robby Kerr said, "I'm excited to hear Tony will be heading up DHHS. He has a heart for public service and will be committed to the success of the program. His leadership skill and experience in the Jindal administration are sure to result in creative and innovative thinking at Medicaid."

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