The South Carolina’s state Legislature voted last night to override Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto of state funding for the Republican presidential primary.
The vote ensures that the state’s GOP presidential primary will preserve its important first-in-the-South status. The State reports that Senate Democrats have asked Republicans to turn the budget provision into permanent law so that it applies to future presidential primaries.
The State Election Commission has about $680,000 on hand to help fund next year’s primary. The commission projects the primary will cost about $1.5 million.
In addition to restoring funding for next year’s primary, South Carolina’s Republican-controlled Legislature overrode 26 of Haley’s 35 budget vetoes. The votes restored all but $507,967 of the $213 million in spending cuts Haley had sought with her vetoes.
Original Post, June 28:
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley killed funding for the state’s first-in-the-South 2012 presidential primary with a budget veto today, but promised to help the state Republican party raise money for the election, according to The State.
Haley said that the primaries don’t merit taxpayer funding because they are not an essential government function. Instead, she said, state political parties should pick up the tab.
“We are going to have the best South Carolina presidential primary we have ever had,” Haley told the AP. “And we’re going to do it in the way that it was intended to be — which is with private funds where each party goes and raises the money that they’re supposed to raise.”
The South Carolina Election Commission estimates that the 2012 Republican primary will cost $1.5 million. The state GOP chairman said Monday that the party will raise the money to put on the closely-watched nominating contest.
According to Fox News, that could mean that the party goes back to running the primary with paper ballots and volunteers, which was how the South Carolina primary was conducted until the parties won state funding in 2008 and turned over operations to the state election commission.
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