Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Senate overrides Haley's veto of school funding

South Carolina's chamber of greater deliberation, the Senate, voted to override Governor Nikki Haley's vetoes of $76 million in public school funding, which will leave the base student cost for 2011-2012 at $1,880 -- still well short of the roughly $2,700 prescribed by the Education Finance Act's annual funding formula, but more than either chamber passed in its original budget plans.

More analysis will come in tomorrow's papers, I'm sure, but the initial takeaway from today is that the General Assembly has delivered Her Excellency as sharp a rebuke as it ever gave to former Governor Mark Sanford. Members of both chambers voted easily to override the vast majority of her vetoes, despite her letter praising them for working more agreeably with her than they had with Sanford, and exhorting them to sustain her vetoes to establish a "new mindset" for governing through her term.

Will Haley accept her rebuke and amend her course? Hard to predict, but if past behavior is a good predictor, that's not likely. Sanford used each veto fight as an opportunity to dig in his heels and denigrate detractors in his own party. Haley, Sanford's ideological and political heir, isn't likely to approach her opponents with any more maturity, at least not in private. We'll see what she says in public, tonight or tomorrow.

Something tells me her staff already has a statement prepared.

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