News 12 at 6 o'clock; June 16, 2008
AIKEN, S.C. --- In more than a week, South Carolina lawmakers will be back at work, dealing with the budget and the almost 70 vetoes Gov. Mark Sanford handed them.
News 12 talked with the governor one-on-one on what needs to be done to get the budget issues out of the way.
Gov. Sanford is trying to control spending. But the question is, do you think the money is going into the right programs?
In just a few days, lawmakers in South Carolina will be back. Pat Paterniti will be watching, and he hopes you are too.
"I think the first thing citizens need to do is understand what is going on in Columbia," says Pat.
To get answers, News 12 went straight to the top, to Governor Sanford. He was in Aiken on Monday, endorsing Scott Singer, for the State House run-off. But, something else is on his mind too, the budget.
"Historically, the Governor has never been involved in the budget, which is kind of crazy," says Gov. Sanford.
Crazy, because of all the vetoes and the special session coming up.
"We've stepped into a sandbox that's historically never been stepped into and it causes at times, sparks to fly, but that goes with this larger notion of change," says Gov. Sanford.
Change, like controlling government spending in these tough economic times. One way for Governor Sanford was vetoing a health care bill for low income families. But the veto was overturned in the House and Senate.
"The question is, can we afford that? Not only can we afford it this year, can we afford it next year," says Pat.
Afford it or not, Sharon Williams from Aiken says, money is being spent in the wrong places.
"It's been spent on things right now that are imperative to daily living, to survive. You got lots of money going into corrections, lots of money going into highways," says Sharon.
"What we are really after is a more sustainable track so the people can more accurately predict what they're going to get from the government," says Gov. Sanford.
Something those in Aiken are closely watching.
"He seems to get up off the mat every morning, even after having his veto overridden," says Pat.
"I commend the Senate. I commend the House on taking a stand because a person holds a position doesn't always make them right," says Sharon.
The special session will start next Wednesday and should last no longer than 3 days.
The governor is really looking to spend money on things that are needed and things that can be supported.