For Immediate Release
State Representative Wendell Gilliard District 111
Response to Nikki Haley’s State of the State Address
Once again Governor Nikki Haley has presented us with smokes and mirrors instead of a cohesive and comprehensive agenda for the future of South Carolina. Bottom line, in her speech, the Governor said the heck with the MIDDLE CLASS, our CHILDREN, the POOR, the HOMELESS, and our VETERANS! The Governor failed to give us a specific plan about job creation instead choose to pick a nonexistent and downright imaginary fight with the labor unions. The new relocated businesses introduced last night are good for the state but their economic impact to the State of South Carolina pales in comparison to that of the Port. I wanted to hear the Governors plan to reverse the damage done to South Carolina’s natural and economic environment, but instead I was told to “stop bickering”, and to essentially be quiet while my State is SOLD UP THE RIVER to the highest bidder at shady fundraisers in Georgia attorney offices that specialize in Port related activity.
I wanted to hear the Governor explain how she was going to hire teachers, train teachers, and address the issues of education seeing we are near the bottom in the nation. She discussed Charter Schools, but failed to address the some 95% of the children attending traditional public schools. We should not be surprised the needs of these children were ignored in the Governors speech. Governor Haley ignored their needs when she hailed State Secretary of Education Zais’ decision to distribute $144 Million of our tax dollars to other states instead of school districts within the State of South Carolina.
Veterans are returning home from war. I was proud to honor the parents of one of those heroes, Lance Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter from Gilbert last night, but would it not have done their hearts better to know that their son was coming back to a State that was doing everything in her power to ensure his transition back into society is seamless. Currently, veterans returning home are adding to the number of homeless on the street at an alarming rate. Is this the way we honor our heroes? Again, the Governor gives us window dressing, but no substance.
The reality is that the Governor did a lot of talking but said nothing that even remotely reflects the reality of my constituents, or any other working and middle class constituency in South Carolina. It seemed to me that as she spewed irrelevant partisan charged propaganda- bashing unions, Obamacare, public education- she was actually speaking not to me but a broader audience, one beyond the border of our state. The Governor used last nights State of the State, not as an opportunity to show leadership and vision, but instead as a stage in which she auditioned for a role in National Republican Politics- perhaps Romney’s running mate? He needs the South- He needs women- He needs minorities. It’s not that hard to imagine. They chose Sarah Palin last time for goodness sakes. It seems the Governor is already preparing for her future, and at expense of ours. It is a sad day for South Carolina. And when it comes to having a surplus in our State, which is about One Billion we should not hesitate to first look out for our State workers. This is why I alone with my friends in the House and the Senate will try to push for a wage increase for them. This is a much needed item and way overdue for our State workers.
State Representative Wendell G Gilliard