Some Advocates, Agencies Celebrate Minor Victory on Vetoes
Arts advocates and sexual assault centers overjoyed with votes to override vetoes.
Some advocates and organizations celebrated a minor victory on Tuesday as the House overrode more than half of Gov. Nikki Haley’s budget vetoes. The S.C. Senate will vote on the vetoes today.
The House, in a 110-5 vote, overturned Haley’s veto to cut the South Carolina Arts Commision almost $2 million. For another SCAC veto, the House overturned a cut of $500,000.
In a unanimous vote, the House overturned Haley’s vetoes the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which would have cut funding to 15 sexual assault agencies across the state.
These vetoes have sparked public outcry and protests from advocates and agencies around the state. Both the arts community and rape crisis center advocates expressed their support of overrides throughout social media networks on Tuesday.
“All of us in the arts community are excited about the results,” said George McLeer, executive director of the Mauldin Cultural Center. “We had a great day.”
McLeer said that he is hopeful for Wednesday, and that “it’s not over until it’s over.”
“The Cultural Center, for this coming year, was granted an award,” he said. “Veto 1 became a big-ticket item for us. It’s an amount for us that means a lot. It’ll help out in a lot of different ways.”
McLeer said that his organization “now has a horse in the race.”
Natalie Brown, owner, performer and director of Alternacirque, updated her Facebook friends with veto information throughout the day. Brown organized the rally at the statehouse protesting Haley’s arts vetoes, and created a Facebook group for arts advocates to share information.
After Veto 1, she wrote: “One hurdle down. There's another veto to override in the House.”
Joyce Hart, executive director of Rape Crisis Center in Myrtle Beach, said she was overjoyed at the results.
“Basically, it’s great news, it’s unanimous and that says it all,” she said. “We’re excited and it’s that much less of a struggle.”
She, too, expects positive results for today.
“We heard once it passed the House that we’re kind of assured it’d pass in the Senate, too,” she said. “It’s maybe something [Gov. Haley] will think about before she’ll try to do again.”