Senate overrides several controversial Haley vetoes - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Senate overrides several controversial Haley vetoes

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The state Senate delivered another blow to several key vetoes Gov. Nikki Haley handed down last week.

Senators overturned four vetoes that would have eliminated the state's Arts Commission, gutted the state's rape crisis centers, and stopped teacher pay raises.

Haley took heat from both sides of the aisle during the session.

"In my 14 years of service, I would call it the most cruel, outrageous and insensitive veto I've ever seen," said Sen. Joel Lourie, talking about the veto against rape crisis centers.

Haley vetoed spending $453,000 on rape victims services, saying they make up a small part of the population and distract from the mission of government.

"Truth of the matter is, it's money well spent," said Sen. Jake Knotts. "It's earmarks well spent."

The Senate overturned the veto, and only two voted against it: Sen. Lee Bright and Sen. Kevin Bryant.

The state's Arts Commission also survived Haley's veto pen, but the vote was close. Sen. Greg Ryberg fought to keep the veto.

"I think the governor is right in vetoing this. I think it's time we got back to the core missions of government," Ryberg said.

Ryberg argued that with the $1.9 million dollars the agency uses, the state can hire 33 troopers, 22 SLED agents, or 40 child protective service agents. Also, Ryberg argued that the art commission director earns a salary equal to the state's public safety directors.

"It seems to be a little out of whack if we've got the commissioner of the Arts Commission making $91,000 and the Pardon and Parole making $90,000," Ryberg said.

Teacher pay increases also survived the day. The Senate voted to give school districts $10 million to fund the raises.

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