Wielding her line-item veto on South Carolina’s budget, Gov. Nikki Haley defunded the state’s Arts Commission on Thursday, and the agency’s 20 employees were told not to report to work on Monday, Columbia, S.C., daily The State reports.
Ms. Haley eliminated a combined $9.5-million allocated for the arts agency and the South Carolina Sea Grants Consortium, which helps the state’s universities secure federal money for marine research. She said the state funding was redundant because the schools can seek grants on their own and the private sector can support culture projects.
The Republican governor tried to zero out arts funding last year, but the move was overridden by the GOP-controlled legislature. This year, however, her veto carries immediate force because lawmakers did not approve a new spending plan until after the July 1 start of the fiscal year, meaning Ms. Haley’s move eliminates the Arts Commission’s current operating budget.
House and Senate members are due to return to session in mid-July to take up the governor’s vetoes, which also eliminated money earmarked for teachers’ raises, luring companies to the state, and individual grants for several historical and cultural sites.