Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Strange Doings in South Carolina -- Updated
Is this a sign of things to come for the arts in the South, and the nation?
The Chronicle of Philanthropy notes that Nikki Hayley, Governor of South Carolina, has exercised her line-item veto to defund the South Carolina Arts Commission, effective immediately.
The Chronicle goes on:
"The agency’s 20 employees were told not to report to work on Monday.
"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."
For more, see a full report in the Columbia, S.C., daily The State, here.
Update -- July 18, 2012 -- the SC House and Senate have both voted to override Governor Hayley's veto.
Both Houses of the SC Legislature are heavily Republican, so its good to see that they voted 110-5 in the House and 29-10 in the Senate to restore funding for the arts in South Carolina.