Gov. Haley Unveils Proposed Budget

One state agency would receive a pay increase

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By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- The governor today earlier at the State House praised her cabinet members for what she calls a successful year in that not one agency has a budget deficit. For this year's overall budget plan, she proposes millions for transportation, health care, public safety and a big push to improve public education.

Republican Governor Nikki Haley Monday claimed her cabinet members, who backed her at the State House as she unveiled her proposed budget for the comingyear, have effectively done over the last year.

"We have no deficits in our agencies."

This year, she hopes to transform public education in the state using what she calls a multi-year, $177 million approach.

"W believe this will bring a huge difference in how we educate our children so we no longer educate based on where they're born and raised but on the fact that they deserve a good education and that is our future workforce."

Twenty-nine-point-five million dollars would go toward reading coaches; $29.5 million toward technology and another $4 million to train teachers to use that new technology; and $21 million for public charter schools.

On top of that, more money would go to nglish speaking students, gifted and talented students and adult education programs.

"We have 800,000 people in South carolina without a GED," said Haley. "Adult education is still important."

Other priorities in her proposed budget include over $1.35 billion over the next 10 years for transportation and road improvements, and dramatically increasing the department of mental health's general fund. Also, the state law enforcement division would get new hires to continue what Haley touts as effective public safety.

"They have closed 1, 281 meth labs and rescued 171 children this past year."

Under the proposed budget plan, Firefighters with the state Forestry Commission would be the only South Carolina state employees to receive a cost-of-living increase. Haley's says her 2014-15 plan released Monday gives state firefighters a 2 percent boost because they were left out of the last round specifically for law enforcement.

In response to Haley's announcement, Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen (Camden, SC) has this to say:

“The only thing less impressive than Nikki Haley’s failure to lead in this budget is her inability to deliver results on what she’s proposed in this budget or in the past. South Carolina needs a strong leader like Vincent Sheheen, who is willing to embrace big ideas, work across the aisle to get things done, and who isn’t afraid to stand up to either party in order to do what’s right. Vincent understands that we can improve education by increasing teacher pay and implementing universal four-year old kindergarten, we can responsibly rebuild our roads and bridges to spur economic growth, and we can build an economy from within by supporting small businesses – all it takes is honest leadership and real accountability. ”

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