HEADLINES : South Carolina
Senate takes up Haley budget vetoes today
S.C. House lawmakers cut South Carolina's $23 billion budget by about $4 million Tuesday, approving 30 of Gov. Nikki Haley's 81 budget vetoes - mostly small projects like the Veterans Park in Irmo and the North Myrtle Beach Historical Museum.
Representatives moved to restore funding for a number of high-profile budget items that Haley had vetoed, including the arts, a coastal consortium, teacher pay raises and rape-crisis centers. State senators will meet Wednesday to vote on the same items. If two-thirds of senators vote to overturn Haley's vetoes, the money for the projects will be restored.
After the House voted 111-0 to override Haley's veto of $453,680 for the state's 15 rape-crisis centers, Haley wrote on her Facebook page: "Special interests made their way into the DHEC budget. This is not about the merit of their fights but the back door way of getting the money. It's wrong and another loophole for legislators and special interests to use."
House Democrats - interpreting Haley's comments as calling rape victims "special interests" - demanded Haley apologize.
"This is one of the most offensive things I've ever heard a governor say," said state Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg. "The governor needs to take a long look in the mirror and decide whether or not she stands by these comments. If she does, then I will make sure every single female voter in this state is aware of it. That's a promise."
Haley had vetoed six health care items costing $1.5 million, including the rape-crisis centers.