But as a state, and as an elected government, we will not be victims in this process. We rejected the federal government's less than generous offer to run a state exchange, an offer that would have Washington bureaucrats dictating the exchange and South Carolinians paying for it.
And, with your help, we emphatically said no to the central component of ObamaCare, the expansion of a broken Medicaid program that is already cannibalizing our budget, and would completely destroy it in the years to come.
These were not decisions made lightly, without thought or analysis. But I am fully convinced that South Carolina will be better for them, and I pledge to you this: we will continue to fight ObamaCare every step of the way.
We proved last year that we can invest in our roads and bridges with the dollars we already have. Raising the gas tax--forcing our people and our businesses to pay more for the simple act of getting around--is not an option for me.
I will veto any bill that reaches my desk that raises taxes on gasoline.
So instead, this year, as last, our budget writers should take the additional revenue that inevitably appears after our budget is balanced--what I call "the money tree,"--and invest it in our infrastructure. Since 2005, the "money tree" that falls every year has averaged more than $106 million. According to the Department of Transportation, those dollars, invested the right way, will be worth more than $1.3 billion in additional road and bridge improvements. That is prioritizing. That is our job.
Previously, with Washington having its way, we would handle welfare recipients by asking a few simple questions, effectively checking a box, and handing over a check. Easy in, easy out.
But no one improves their lot in life that way. Now we do things differently. We dig deeper. We ask them about their skills, what they are good at. And then, we find them a job. Yes, it seems like a simple concept, but here's the deal: it works. Since starting this program in 2011, we have moved more than 20,000 South Carolinians from welfare to work.
We should all be proud of this program. But more than that, we should be proud of those workers, those South Carolinians who traded the false stability of a welfare check for the true dignity of a well-earned paycheck.
The above quotations are from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Nikki Haley.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
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