When Nikki took office, she promised the people of South Carolina that she would eat, sleep and breathe job creation. Harnessing the power of South Carolina’s unique assets – outstanding companies, a loyal and dedicated workforce, and a competitive business environment – that’s what she has done. “Not since Carroll Campbell have we had such a great salesman for the state of South Carolina,” Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler said.
Our economy is coming back. Tax relief and tort reform have given our businesses room to grow. “South Carolina’s ‘pro-business attitude’ and solid labor force played a part in Michelin’s decision to add jobs to two regions in this state,” said Michelin’s chairman and president Pete Selleck according to news reports.
Our jobless rate has dropped to a new 13-year low, we’ve announced more than 56,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, and South Carolina tops the list as one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. “It’s a revival…We’re turning the corner in terms of job creation and manufacturing,” one University of South Carolina economist said to a reporter.
According to The Charleston Post and Courier, “Gov. Haley has proven herself over the last two years on economic development.”
Nikki’s fight to take care of the businesses we have and recruit new ones to our state is paying off, and South Carolina is on the move!
Governor Carroll Campbell said, “If you give someone a job, you give him pride.” And when we recently celebrated the fact that more than 20,000 South Carolinians had transitioned from welfare to work since Nikki took office, our entire state had another reason to be proud. The average job retention rate for former welfare recipients in South Carolina is now 94%, and of the recipients who left welfare with a job, 78% were on welfare for 12 months or less. Nikki and her team are changing the culture in state government from a commitment to entitlement programs to a commitment to job placement.
No governor has fought harder against costly and cumbersome Washington mandates pushed down on states by the Obama Administration than Nikki Haley.
As President Obama and his liberal allies try to expand the Obamacare disaster Nikki has turned them back and sought South Carolina solutions for South Carolina’s health care needs.
When President Obama and his union allies tried to kill Boeing jobs in South Carolina, Nikki stood up to the president and his bullies and stood up for Boeing – a great South Carolina company that recently announced another billion-dollar, job-creating expansion for the Lowcountry.
When the Obama Administration wanted to overturn our common sense Voter ID and illegal immigration reform laws, Nikki said, “Not in South Carolina.”
And she has earned praise for her leadership.
“Governor Haley won’t let the Obama Administration continue its intrusion on our state’s rights,” said Pickens Senator Larry Martin.
South Carolinians are strong, resourceful, and honest, and they rightfully expect a state government that understands it works for the people and not the other way around. Nikki Haley is the determined leader to bring it to them.
From day one, she has demanded accountability and reform across state government. In April 2011, Nikki signed into law a bill she first championed as a legislator that put legislative votes on the record, changing the face of South Carolina and ensuring taxpayers know how elected officials are spending their hard-earned money.
But South Carolinians deserve an even better, more honest, more open and more accountable state government.
Nikki’s commission on ethics reform has proposed sweeping changes to South Carolina’s ethics laws, campaign finance and public records laws to rid the system of conflicts of interest and increase transparency. The State newspaper called the recommendations “a blueprint for reform.”
As a public school parent, Nikki Haley is fully invested in seeing the quality of our education improve not just for her children but for all children in South Carolina. As Nikki has long said, a good education is the key to a better quality of life, and a well-educated workforce is a real factor in attracting more businesses and jobs to our state.
As governor, she has reaffirmed her commitment to charter schools, invested in innovation with a focus on both rural and urban areas through programs like Teach For America, and joined with General Zais to push the federal government for more flexibility to manage and evaluate our schools and educators. Kindergarten programs for 4 year olds are expanding.
But we owe it to every child in this state, no matter where they live, to make their education a priority and that means completely reforming our education funding formula. We need to spend our dollars smarter. We need to be more accountable.
Working with leaders from both parties, the business community, school districts and educators, Nikki began an education conversation about how we better serve all the children of South Carolina and lift up those students in poverty stricken parts of the state without undermining those already excelling in schools in the economically vibrant parts of our state.
In June 2014 South Carolina celebrated the passage of the first step in education reform that included more funding for rural school districts, reading coaches in every school, and more technology in the classroom.
Few things are as clearly defined as the right of individual Americans to own firearms. The right to bear arms was deemed so critical by our Founders that they spelled it out in the Constitution, and it is Nikki’s belief that any governmental action that undermines that right is in turn undermining the very freedoms that built our great nation. Nikki holds a Concealed Weapons Permit herself. Nikki has fought against efforts to make it more difficult for CWP holders to rightfully carry, and she will continue to do so.
Nikki has worked with Democrats and Republicans to pass the most significant government restructuring bill in a generation, one that would transform state government, giving the people the efficiency and accountability they want and deserve. After a few tough sessions, the bill finally got out of the Senate and to her desk. She signed the Department of Administration into law in January 2014.
After signing the bill, she had this to say: “Getting to this point wasn’t easy but we are finally signing into law a Department of Administration and moving South Carolina out of the dark ages of backwards, clumsy, and unresponsive government. The people of this state deserve a government that is responsive – and today’s action is giant step in that direction.”
As a small businesswoman and accountant by trade – Nikki’s first job was keeping the books for the family business when she was 13 – she understands that our focus has to be on reining in government spending, instead of making government even bigger. Far too many politicians don’t understand the value of a dollar, nor do they understand that this money does not belong to elected officials but to the citizens who earn it. Government needs to be accountable to those citizens and spend taxpayer dollars efficiently and effectively. To that end, Nikki has vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars of wasteful, unnecessary, or unwise spending in the state budget. Every year she has proposed executive budgets that are balanced, and that keep spending in check, pay down debts, and provide tax relief.
One thing Nikki learned in the business world is how hard it is to earn a dollar and how easy it is for government to take it away. When we stop punishing our business owners and individuals for their successes and instead start to reward them, they reinvest in our state, hire more workers, and our economy grows.
Nikki delivered tax relief to small businesses – reducing the tax rate for small businesses from 5% to 3% – so they can hire more workers and reinvest in our state, but we can’t stop there. It’s time to eliminate the income tax, a reform that cuts taxes for the overwhelming majority of people who pay income taxes, and not a single South Carolinian will pay more. We have to keep up with our neighboring states, and states around the nation, with whom we are competing for jobs – businesses already see South Carolina as the new “It” state, but we have more work to do.
Nikki knows that every life has enormous value and is blessed by God. Her husband Michael was adopted, and her pro-life convictions stem from the fact that she feels the blessings of that value every day knowing that someone chose life for him. Nikki sees it every day in her two children as she watches them grow. Her hope is that we continue to encourage and work towards educating everyone to value the culture of life for all people.