Gov. Nikki Haley promised “no surprises” in her second State of the State address Wednesday night, and she was right. The first-term Republican railed against the federal government and defended some of her more controversial actions Wednesday night, but one topic was barely touched upon during the speech — public education.
Much of the governor’s speech was devoted to defending her own policies, prompting Democratic Sen. John Land to call it “the most self-congratulatory speech I’ve ever heard from a South Carolina governor.”
Facing criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, Gov. Haley defended her mandatory “It’s a great day in South Carolina” phone greeting by state employees. She also addressed the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s move to allow Georgia to dredge the Savannah River. Many call the deal “sellout” because it would give Savannah a competitive edge over the Palmetto State.
As Rep. Chandra Dillard put it, the governor’s message “was very right…. of center.” Haley called for phasing out the corporate income tax entirely over four years, and attacked unions by saying the state will require them to “tell the people how much money they are making on our backs, which politicians they are funding, and how much they are paying themselves.” Obviously the same principle should naturally apply to corporate CEOs, but given fellow Republican Joe Wilson’s double standard regarding political action committees, we won’t hold our breath.
Perhaps the biggest double standard, however, came when Gov. Haley told the audience that “the leadership of South Carolina has for far too long put politics ahead of progress.” Frankly, we couldn’t agree more. Read the governor’s speech by clicking here.
Rep. Bakari Sellers spent significantly more time discussing improvements for the state’s failing education system in his Democratic response, which you can read here.
Rep. Boyd Brown gave a much more “gloves off” response later in the evening on WIS, which you can read here.