South Carolina’s governor is getting expanded powers


Gov. Nikki Haley (Grace Beahm/Post and Courier)

A bill to expand executive powers in South Carolina passed both state chambers on Tuesday and is headed to Gov. Nikki Haley (R), who has promised to sign it into law.

The bill eliminates the Budget and Control Board and transfers its many bureaucratic responsibilities —including human resources, property and fleet management —to a new Cabinet-level Department of Administration. It garnered bipartisan support, despite some last-minute drama, and is widely described as the largest restructuring of the Palmetto State’s government in 20 years.

“Carroll Campbell is smiling today as the House and Senate passed the biggest piece of government reform since he was governor almost 20 years ago,” Haley wrote Tuesday on her official Facebook page. “South Carolina is showing the world that we are no longer in the dark ages! Another Great Day in South Carolina!”

The bill was approved with no opposition in the House and cleared the Senate on a 39-to-4 vote, but not without some controversy. State Sen. Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg) complained that it didn’t give enough authority to the executive branch—important, apparently, because then the executive could be held accountable. But after holding up the process for a few hours, Martin was appeased after he and the governor met to discuss his concerns.

The bill’s sponsor is Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat running to unseat Haley.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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