COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Gov. Nikki Haley said her first State of the State address will focus on her goals for budget cuts and smaller government.
Live 5 News' Bill Sharpe spoke to Haley one on one in her office in the statehouse and gave a preview of what she will be talking about and some of the priorities of her new administration.
"We are a state that is challenged but optimistic. We're going into a situation that's going to hurt. But I have every faith that we're going to come out of it stronger and more competitive than when we started," Haley said."It's a chance for us to make sure we never get back into this position again."
When asked about cuts and where she would make cuts Haley said,"You've got to look at things like should we be paying for an arts commission? Right now, we're the only state in the country that doesn't allow our medicaid director to have flexibility on cutting provider rates. In the case of aids and cancer, we don't allow generic drugs to be used. We have to use name brand drugs. Those are things we can do that won't hurt the quality of care for patients."
In response to bringing jobs back to South Carolina, Haley said it's her number one priority and she would start with two things.
"One, increase and strengthen the small business environment. Every one of my agencies has been told cut the red tape. Whatever we can do to save a small business. Time is important, time is money and when we`re costing small businesses money they can`t hire the people that we need them to hire. The second side of it, I`m on the phone every day with companies trying to get them to come to South Carolina and the response is good!"
When asked what she would like to see done to improve education in the state, Haley said,"Allow them to best decide how to spend money, as opposed to the state telling them how to do it."