Politics & Government

S.C. Gov. Sanford criticizes Nikki Haley over executive budget

Gov. Mark Sanford objected Wednesday to a campaign proposal to scrap the detailed executive budgets that Sanford introduced when he took office in 2003.

Last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, a Sanford ally, said she would not produce a detailed executive budget, which were typically ignored because of the acrimony between Sanford and lawmakers. Instead, Haley said, she would set a small list of priorities and work with lawmakers during the process.

Haley is running against Democrat Vincent Sheheen and Green and United Citizens parties' candidate Morgan Bruce Reeves. Voters will go to the polls Nov. 2 to elect a new governor to replace Sanford.

While governors are required to submit a budget proposal, past governors typically submitted a short list of policy priorities because the Legislature controls most of the budget-writing process. But Sanford and his staff drafted detailed plans off of which, they said, state government could run.

In a message sent to Sanford's campaign e-mail list, the outgoing governor argued his successor should also draft a detailed budget.

"These Executive Budgets have been vital in creating a budget blue print that showed how we could fund core services of government without raising taxes," Sanford wrote, encouraging recipients to read an editorial critical of Haley's proposal in The (Charleston) Post and Courier. "They were important in showing the savings that might come from restructuring and consolidating government."

Sanford does not mention Haley, who shares many of Sanford's positions, by name in the e-mail.

Haley said she was not abandoning the budget, but would instead present lawmakers with a list of priorities, suggest cuts to cabinet agencies and outline a 10-year spending plan. Haley would set a target amount for the budget, currently $5.1 billion.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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