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Republican S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley hailed votes by the S.C. House and Senate to put legislative votes on the record but called on lawmakers to work together to do more to improve government efficiency.
Haley continued her statewide, "The Movement" tour Monday night at Hilton Head Island High School.
"There was a promise I made to the people of this state and it was that they're not going to have to come to Columbia, I was going to come to them," Haley told nearly 200 people seated in the high school's auditorium.
"This is a call of action on what I need from the legislators and this is the results of what our progress has been over the past couple of month," she said. "I want people to know the power of their voice and that their elected officials work for them, and that they deserve results."
Haley unveiled her legislative report card, tracking key legislation intended to introduce more transparency, accountability and efficiency in state government.
Haley said progress is being made, but House and Senate members need to come together to get things done quicker.
ON THE HERITAGE:
"We do not want to lose the Heritage. It is a top priority. I am on the phone talking to people every day. I just don't want it paid for by the taxpayers of South Carolina," she said. "This is to be sponsored by private organizations and we're going to make sure that happens ... We are talking to a few companies and having to negotiate. We weren't given a whole lot of time to work on this. I am still determined. 'Can't' is not an option for me and we are going to find a sponsor for the tournament."
"I am going to work on a funding formula over the summer that is going to change the way we fund education and start funding children based on the fact they deserve a good education, not based on where they live," Haley said. "We've got to bring equitable funding back to the system."
The state spends more than $11,000 per student, money Haley said goes through 1,000 employees at the state Department of Education and 86 school districts before it touches a teacher and student in the classroom.
"Yet we are only graduating one out or two students in four years," she said.
Haley said impoverished and underserved areas of the state can no longer be ignored. Legislators need to simplify the funding formula to cut down on bureaucracy and "give every student in the state the same chance at a good, quality education that is not dependent on where they happen to be born or raised."
She also supports school choice, asking why parents should pay for schools their children don't attend.
"I'm saying make the charter school like the public school," Haley said. "Let the money follow the child so it's fair to the parent. Let dollars go with them and let the parents and student decide."
ON HEALTH CARE REFORM:
Haley said she is an "equal opportunity opponent" to the health care reform bill passed by Congress.
She, along with 28 other state governors, asked President Barack Obama for an expedited review of U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's ruling that the entire health care law was unconstitutional.
"This law is unconstitutional and it is a law South Carolina does not want and cannot afford," Haley said.
Jocelyn Metzger Staigar, president of the Republican Women of Southern Beaufort County, said she was pleased to see Haley follow up on her campaign promise of staying in touch with voters.
"It seems legislators are now working with the governor and that stalled out (with former Gov. Mark) Sanford," Staigar said. "I'd like to see the House and Senate get things done together quicker, but there's been a lot accomplished in a little amount of time. She's forming good relationships with legislators and I'm pleased to see that happen."
Hilton Head Island resident Mike Manesiotis said he feels Haley has a good command of the issues and an effective plan for affecting change in state government.
"I like the idea of a report card. It appeals to the lowest common denominator. People can understand it," Manesiotis said. "I think she has a house divided and needs to get legislators from both sides on the same page."