What Did Nikki Haley Veto? The South Carolina Governor Has Used Her Veto Pen Many Times
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been a rising star in the GOP for quite some time, and her widely-praised response to the State of the Union address earlier this week helped continue that trend. She’s now being discussed as a possible presidential running mate. If the eventual Republican nominee does consider picking Haley for the ticket, then her gubernatorial record will receive far more scrutiny than it has to this point. So let’s get a head start: What did Nikki Haley veto in South Carolina?
Well, a lot. Many, many things. You can see a full list of Haley’s vetoes here, courtesy of the official governor’s website. Most of the laws she’s nixed have been pretty dry. Haley vetoed the extension of a one-cent sales tax in Clarendon County, the suspension of a state agency’s jurisdiction over dredging rights in the Savannah River, the establishment of the Bamberg County Water and Sewer Authority, and so on.
The official list, however, somewhat obscures the entire story, because a few of the items are actually a bunch of vetoes in one. For example, you’ll notice one item at the top labeled "Fiscal Year 2015-2016." In this instance, Haley didn’t just nix one law; through the power of the line-item veto, she shot down 87 individual components of the state’s budget for that year. A similar thing happened in 2013, when Haley vetoed 71 items in the budget passed by the state legislature.
In both cases, her vetoes encompassed a wide array of policies, and you can read her letters explaining each line-item veto here and here. Amongst other things, Haley eliminated all funding for two state agencies: the South Carolina Art Commission and the South Carolina Sea Grants Consortium. She vetoed many tax increases that she believes should be put to the voters instead, and at one point vetoed a pay raise for lawmakers in the state.
Every time Haley has vetoed something, she’s written to the legislature explaining her reasoning. The South Carolina Governor’s website hosts all of these letters, and if reading about mundane state laws is your idea of a fun time — it certainly is mine, and I’m sadly not kidding about this — you can have a ball reading Haley’s justification for each veto. For example, here she is explaining that a bill restricting the forms of payment accepted by the state’s DMV was redundant and unnecessary.
Some of these vetoes were overridden by the state legislature, such as her veto of funding for state arts programs. The short story, though, is that Haley has been more than happy to veto measure she disagrees with, and has demonstrated this on many, many occasions.