Today, Governor McMaster issued 41 vetoes for the Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget, totaling $56 million dollars.
With these actions, Governor McMaster:
- Preserved roughly $6.6 million in funding for the Conservation Land Bank, allowing the Bank to maintain its operations at roughly current levels;
- Maintained oversight by the Commission on Higher Education for college spending/borrowing on buildings and facilities;
- Vetoed a “wish list” of unfunded items that would have been bankrolled by excess lottery money that does not currently exist;
- Vetoed line items encompassing individual collections of vague and unidentifiable earmarks;
- Vetoed a proviso that would have allowed tens of millions of gas tax dollars to be diverted away from road paving and maintenance for use in other lower priority activities;
- Vetoed burdensome regulations that are bad for business in South Carolina.
Quotes from Governor McMaster
Conservation Land Bank: “South Carolina’s natural resource are a central driver of our economic prosperity. Twenty-eight million people visit our state each year, contributing to a $20 billion tourism industry. While I agree with many criticisms regarding the Bank, I believe it is a useful tool for protecting our environment and maintaining our competitiveness.”
Higher Education Oversight: "Every building, brick, fixture, and square foot of our public institutions belongs to the people of South Carolina. The CHE must be allowed to exercise its oversight authority. As governor, I look forward to appointing commission members who exercise prudent and fair ."
Excess Lottery Funds: “Allocating funds before they are certified and available for use is not a responsible budgeting practice. If additional lottery proceeds become available, they should go to scholarships for South Carolina’s students, as voters were promised they would.”
Earmarks and Pork: “These items were not requested by the agencies receiving the funds, and members of my Cabinet cannot tell me how the money will be spent. These projects were not put before the public to stand on their own merits, and I vetoed them in the interests of transparency and accountability. “
Gas Taxes: “Following the largest tax increase in state history, this proviso allows tens of millions of gas tax dollars to be diverted from road paving to lower priority activities. South Carolinians deserve to have every cent of the gas tax spent on road improvements.”
Burdensome Regulations: “We should not require the government to insert itself into the middle of relationships between private business and their employees.”