And she did so in a way that may have violated the state constitution.
Along with the governor’s Budget and Control Board, Haley attributed $100 million to the state’s Dept. of Health and Human Services budget for the current fiscal year.
According to Article X, Section 7 of the 2010 South Carolina Constitution, “expenditures of state government may not exceed annual state revenue(.)”
Should any exceed such revenue in a fiscal year, the state congress must respond by “levying a tax in the ensuing year sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency of the preceding year together with the estimated expenses for such ensuing year.”
In short, the State Assembly may now need to add an additional $200 million in taxes for the next fiscal year budget - $100 million to accommodate last year’s deficit and $100 million to cover this year’s expenses.
Even if Haley’s move could be deemed constitutional, “there is still the concern about the Budget and Control Board and the Executive Branch usurping legislative authority,” says the House Democratic Caucus. “(L)egislators would still need to pass a supplemental budget for DHHS to be able to spend any additional monies.”
South Carolina is already shy $830 million in funding for the upcoming fiscal year.