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Uniscite Inc. announces new operations in Laurens County

$70 million investment expected to create 100 new jobs

January 31st

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Uniscite Inc., a maker of plastic films, today announced plans to develop its operations in Laurens County. The $70 million investment is expected to generate up to 100 new jobs.

“We are pleased to locate our new operations in Laurens County and look forward to building our business here,” said Mr. Zhang Long Peng, investor and president of Uniscite Inc.

“Laurens County offered us an excellent business environment and ready and available workforce. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials, and we plan to create as many job opportunities as possible for the state,” said Ms. Fang Wang, general manager of Uniscite Inc.

Uniscite Inc. will construct a new greenfield plant to manufacture the company’s plastic film such as those used in packaging for food products. With the purchase of up-to-date machinery, Uniscite will produce a high quality BOPP film at exceptional speed. The company currently operates out of offices in Greenville. The plant is expected to be completed and operational by the first quarter of 2014.

“We celebrate Uniscite’s decision to establish its new manufacturing plant in South Carolina and create 100 new jobs. This announcement is another big win for one of our state’s rural counties. We will continue to build on our economic development successes and foster job creation throughout our state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

In the past year, South Carolina has recruited more than $4.7 billion in investment and more than 13,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing companies played an important role in creating new jobs throughout the state last year. Today’s announcement by Uniscite shows that South Carolina’s business-friendly climate is continuing to attract job-creating investments in the manufacturing sector,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

The project originated from Commerce’s Asia office in Shanghai, China. Asia Office Managing Director John Ling introduced the company’s executives to South Carolina and worked with them as the project developed.

“We are extremely excited to have our first China-based company locate in Laurens County. We are happy to continue to see industrial growth in the area,” said Laurens County Council Chairman Jim Coleman.

“I am very pleased to have another excellent company locate in my district,” said District 1 Laurens County Councilman Ted Nash. “Laurens County is good choice for both domestic and international companies.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a set aside grant for $400,000 and job development credits, which will be available when hiring targets are met. ReadySC will provide pre-employment training.

The company will begin hiring for the new positions by early 2013. They will be seeking professionals who have experience or education in process, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as technical operations. Anyone interested in job opportunities with Uniscite Inc. should contact Toni Puleo by e-mail, tonipuleo@unisciteinc.com.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Weekly Schedule: January 30, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 30 includes:

Monday, January 30, 4:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will hold “Open Door after 4” constituent meetings, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, January 31, 9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley will participate in a Budget and Control Board meeting, Room 252, Edgar Brown Building, Statehouse grounds, Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, January 31, 4:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will join New Radio WORD’s Bob McLain for the “Ask the Governor” radio segment.

Wednesday, February 1, 10:15 AM:  Gov. Haley will welcome Leadership Anderson, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Wednesday, February 1, 11:00 AM:  Gov. Haley will participate in a Skype visit with Lakeside Middle School of Inquiry and Innovation in Anderson, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Wednesday, February 1, 11:30 AM:  Gov. Haley will welcome Leadership Greenville and Leadership Greer, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Note: As additional public events are added to the schedule, you’ll be notified.


Gov. Nikki Haley’s Schedule: January 23, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 23 included the following:

Monday, January 23

9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Agency meeting.

11:00 AM:  Agency meeting.

1:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the South Carolina Association of REALTORS’ Annual Leadership Conference, SCR Conference Center, 3780 Fernandina Road, Columbia, S.C.

3:00 PM:  Economic development meeting.

5:00 PM:  Gov. Haley presented an Order of Palmetto to former State Sen. Dewey Wise, first floor lobby, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

6:30 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance’s Annual Winter meeting, Mansion, Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, January 24

9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

11:50 AM:  Press conference.

1:15 PM:  Gov. Haley attended the 7th Annual Wilkins Leadership Awards Luncheon, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street, Columbia, S.C.

3:45 PM:  Gov. Haley recognized “Birth Defects Prevention” month, first floor lobby, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Wednesday, January 25

8:30 AM:  Legislative meeting.

9:45 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Gov. Haley recognized “South Carolina Nurse Anesthetists” week, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.
 
10:15 AM:  Economic development call.

11:30 AM:  Press Conference.

1:15 PM:  Gov. Haley welcomed the South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

1:45 PM:  Meeting with a fellow constitutional officer.

2:10 PM:  Legislative meeting.

2:50 PM:  Constituent meeting.

3:10 PM:  Legislative meeting.

Thursday, January 26

8:00 AM:  Legislative meeting.

12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the Greenville Republican Women’s Club meeting, The Poinsett Club, 807 East Washington Street, Greenville, S.C.

2:15 PM:  Gov. Haley visited Hillcrest Middle School, 510 Garrison Road, Simpsonville, S.C.

4:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the Ecoplosion: Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Real Estate to Move South Carolina Forward Summit, AT&T Auditorium, Campbell Center of the CU-ICAR Building, 5 Research Drive, Greenville, S.C.

7:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce’s Annual meeting, Embassy Suites, 670 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville, S.C.

Friday, January 27

10:30 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the South Carolina State Association of Executives meeting, Salon A, Capital City Club, Columbia, S.C.

2:00 PM:  Economic development meeting.

3:00 PM:  Agency meeting.

Saturday, January 28

1:00 PM:  Agency call.

 

Gov. Nikki Haley to hold “Open Door after 4” meetings on Monday

Constituents have opportunity to meet with governor to discuss any issue

January 26th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced that she will hold “Open Door after 4” constituent meetings on Monday, January 30, at the Office of the Governor in the Statehouse. South Carolinians will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Gov. Haley to discuss any issue.

Anyone wishing to schedule an “Open Door after 4” appointment with Gov. Haley should call (803) 734-1999 between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM on Friday, January 27. Appointments are first-come, first-served. For more information, call (803) 734-2100.

 

Gov. Nikki Haley, advocates discuss increased support for mental health services

January 25th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley, Department of Mental Health (DMH) Director John Magill, Mental Health Commission Chairman Dr. Alison Evans and Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) Director Bob Toomey discussed increased support for mental health services in the governor’s FY 2012-2013 Executive Budget during a press conference today at DMH.

Video of today’s press conference is available here. Download a copy of the governor’s budget here.

Gov. Haley said, “In the executive budget you saw that we stayed below the spending cap, but you also saw that we looked at the needs and the priorities that really need to be made. One of the things that we have fallen on in South Carolina is we have allowed mental health services to be sacrificed in the name of other things, and we have allowed the people of this state to suffer because of it. Mental health issues aren't just issues of extreme patients and hospitals.  Mental health issues impact parents and sisters and brothers and children and coworkers – all the people in our life.  These are good, productive citizens that deserve to live a good healthy life. If given treatment, they can be incredibly successful.  If not given treatment, we as a state have failed them.  And so this was an executive budget that said we are not going to ignore this anymore.”

DMH Director Magill said, “The budget recommendations that the governor has made will allow us to sustain some of the operations now so there wouldn't be a further decline in our systems. It also allows violent sexual predators to be a line item rather than us pulling money out of other parts of the mental health budget. It also provides money for us to provide resources for the care that we have to seek for some of our patients outside of our system. It puts money into the community for our crisis stabilization. There are a number of things that the governor's budget did that actually enhanced our budget request, and all I can say is that I'm so appreciative governor that you've done that. “

Mental Health Commission Chairman Dr. Evans said, “It's a great day to be in South Carolina, and it's a great day for mental health in South Carolina. We are so pleased with the governor's emphasis on mental health in her budget. She has kept her promise to us to stand behind the folks in this state who suffer from mental illness…Now we have the opportunity to move forward and to make some programs whole again and hopefully to expand some of the services that are needed.”

Also on hand for today’s press conference: Dr. Meera Narasimhan, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina and Director for Research Initiatives for DMH; David Jameson, Jameson Associates; Shilpa Srinivasan, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina; Buck Terry, Mental Health Commission; Dr. Everard Rutledge, Mental Health Commission; Joan Moore, Mental Health Commission.

 

Pactiv Corporation announces expansion in Aiken County

$5.5 million investment expected to create new jobs

January 24th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Pactiv LLC, a maker of foodservice and food packaging, today announced plans to expand its existing operations in Aiken County. The $5.5 million investment is expected to generate 25 new jobs over the next three years.

Pactiv LLC will add a new production line to the company’s current manufacturing facility in Beech Island. The company will also expand its warehouse facility to consolidate its regional operations. Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in February.

“It’s always exciting to see one of our existing businesses prosper and grow. We celebrate Pactiv Corporation’s decision to increase its footprint in South Carolina and create 25 new jobs. We are committed to improving our state’s business climate so that we’ll continue to see job-creating investments like this one,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

In the past year, South Carolina has recruited more than $4.7 billion in investment and more than 13,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“We’ve had a string of exciting manufacturing announcements already over the past month. Every one counts, and Pactiv’s announcement in a rural community in South Carolina will make a big impact,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce. “This expansion also shows that our state’s business-friendly climate is working to attract investment and create jobs.”

Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young said, “This announcement is a great way to start off 2012. We are very appreciative of Pactiv’s investment and job creation in their Aiken County facility. Aiken County Council works extremely hard to provide an environment in which our existing industries can be successful in the global marketplace.”

“We are very excited and grateful for this announcement by Pactiv. The manufacturing community in Aiken County is extremely important to its prosperity. The Partnership has worked diligently over the years to attract quality companies to our area. We look forward to Pactiv’s continued growth,” said Gary Stooksbury, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Partnership.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved the company for a $150,000 grant for site preparation. The S.C. Technical College System will provide pre-employment training. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should contact Career One Stop in Aiken.

About Pactiv

Pactiv LLC is a leader in the consumer and foodservice/food packaging markets it serves. Pactiv foodservice/food packaging offers one of the broadest lines in the industry, providing food packaging for the supermarket, packer/processor, institutional, foodservice and restaurant industries. For more information, visit www.pactiv.com.

 

Statement from Gov. Nikki Haley on drop in unemployment rate

Haley: “We won’t stop until everyone in South Carolina who wants a job has a job.”

January 24th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today released the following statement regarding South Carolina’s unemployment figures released by the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW):

“We are working every day to bring jobs to South Carolina, and today’s news of another drop in the unemployment rate is welcome. But we still have much work to do. We won’t stop until everyone in South Carolina who wants a job has a job.”

According to DEW, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in December 2011, a 0.4 percentage point drop from November’s 9.9 percent rate. This marks the fourth consecutive monthly rate drop and is the lowest rate since December 2008.

 

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Weekly Schedule: January 23, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 23 includes:

Monday, January 23, 1:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will speak at the South Carolina Association of REALTORS’ Annual Leadership Conference, SCR Conference Center, 3780 Fernandina Road, Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, January 24, 11:50 AM: Gov. Haley, LCI Chairman Bill Sandifer, LLR Director Catherine Templeton and members of the House Republican Caucus will hold a press conference, first floor lobby, Statehouse, Columbia.

Tuesday, January 24, 3:45 PM:  Gov. Haley will recognize “Birth Defects Prevention” month, first floor lobby, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Wednesday, January 25, 10:00 AM:  Gov. Haley will recognize “South Carolina Nurse Anesthetists” week, first floor lobby, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Wednesday, January 25, 1:15 PM:  Gov. Haley will welcome members of the South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores to the Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Thursday, January 26, 12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will speak at the Greenville Republican Women Club, The Poinsett Club, 807 East Washington Street, Greenville, S.C.

Thursday, January 26, 2:15 PM:  Gov. Haley will visit Hillcrest Middle School, Hillcrest Middle School, 510 Garrison Road, Simpsonville, S.C.

Thursday, January 26, 4:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will speak at the Ecoplosion: Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, and Real Estate to Move South Carolina Forward Summit, AT&T Auditorium, Campbell Center of the CU-ICAR Building, 5 Research Drive, Greenville, S.C.

Thursday, January 26, 7:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will be the keynote speaker at the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, Embassy Suites, 670 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville, S.C.

Friday, January 27, 12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will speak to the South Carolina State Association of Executives, Capital City Club, 1201 Main Street, Suite 2500, Columbia, S.C.

Note: As additional public events are added to the schedule, you’ll be notified.

 

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Schedule: January 17, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 17 included the following:

Tuesday, January 17

12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

12:05 PM:  Agency call.

12:45 PM:  Agency meeting.

3:00 PM:  Television news interview.

Wednesday, January 18

8:00 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

11:30 AM:  Press conference.

7:00 PM:  Gov. Haley delivered her State of the State message, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Thursday, January 19

9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley joined the launch of The Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council’s National Bus Tour, entitled “Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote,” TD Arena, College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C.

10:25 AM:  Gov. Haley visited the Romney for President Headquarters, Suite 4, 974 Orleans Road, Charleston, S.C.

8:00 PM:  Gov. Haley attended the CNN/Southern Republican Leadership Conference’s Republican Presidential debate, North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, S.C.

Friday, January 20

11:15 AM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Mitt Romney for a grassroots rally, Harmon Tree Farm, 3152 Augusta Highway, Gilbert, S.C.

4:00 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Romney for a grassroots rally, Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, S.C.

8:45 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Romney for a “Get Out the Vote” event, Saw Mill at Larkin's, 22 Graves Drive Greenville, S.C.

10:00 PM:  Gov. Haley went On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.

Saturday, January 21

9:00 AM:  Gov. Haley visited the Romney for President Headquarters, 17 College Street, Greenville, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Gov. Haley and Gov. Romney visited Tommy’s Country Ham House, 214 Rutherford Street, Greenville, S.C.

8:35 PM:  Newspaper interview call.

 

Southern Air Repair announces new Facility in Greenville County

Aviation machining company plans to create 20 new jobs

January 19th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Southern Air Repair Corp., an aviation component repair provider, today announced that it has established its new production facility and headquarters in Greenville County. The $750,000 investment is expected to generate 20 new jobs.

Originally founded in West Palm Beach in 1997, the company provides precision machining and welding repairs to accessory component piece parts for major airlines and regional carriers, and is a certified FAA Part 145 Repair Station.  In addition to being FAA certified, Southern Air Repair is also European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) certified.

“Our objective is to provide outstanding customer service, high-quality repair and production and rapid just-in-time delivery that meet the needs of today’s aviation industry,” said Scott Patterson, president of Southern Air Repair.  “We are pleased to launch our new operations here in Greenville County, and are very appreciative for the support and leadership of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Upstate community in making this announcement a reality.”

Southern Air Repair takes non-serviceable parts that might normally be scrapped and makes them serviceable again through FAA-approved repair processes, substantially reducing costs and increasing profitability for their airline customers in the process, noted Patterson.  Focusing primarily on repairs of pneumatic valves, transmissions, generators and turbine components, all repairs go through a rigorous review and approval process that results in repaired parts being equal to or better than an OEM-provided part, and at lower cost.

In addition to availability of skilled workforce and quality of life considerations, Patterson noted that a key factor in the relocation decision to Greenville County was the region’s strategic emphasis on building the aerospace and aviation sectors.  “I had attended an Aviation/Aerospace Cluster meeting last year hosted by Clemson’s Small Business Development Center and attended by the GADC, Department of Commerce, Boeing and other regional manufacturers.  It spoke volumes about the region’s commitment to working together in growing our industry.”

“Small businesses like Southern Air Repair are the backbone of our state’s economy. We celebrate the company’s decision to invest in the Palmetto State and create 20 new jobs. This administration remains committed to making sure South Carolina continues to be a place where businesses of all sizes find success,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

In the past year, South Carolina has recruited more than $100 million in investment and more than 900 new jobs in the aviation and aerospace-related sector.

“Southern Air Repair’s decision to locate its new facility in Greenville is another boost to South Carolina’s aviation sector, and shows that our state’s business-friendly climate is working to attract investment and new jobs,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

“Southern Air Repair is a wonderful example of a company that is using leading edge technology, lean processes and home-grown talent to succeed here in the Upstate,” said Chris Riley, chairman of the Greenville Area Development Corporation. “The company is an entrepreneurial business with innovative processes and rapid growth potential, and is a great example of the opportunity to be found here in Greenville County.  We welcome them to South Carolina and to our growing aviation cluster of businesses.”

The company has already filled several positions, but intends to continue adding machinist technicians, quality support positions, shipping/receiving and office support roles, Patterson noted. Anyone interested in being considered for positions should submit resumes via email to hr@southernairrepair.com.

 

Gov. Nikki R. Haley

State of the State Message

As Prepared for Delivery
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers, and my fellow South Carolinians:

This and every year, we will continue the tradition that recognizes the certain truth that nothing said in this Chamber tonight, or done in this Chamber tomorrow, would be possible without the commitment and sacrifice of the men and women in uniform who bravely serve our state and nation.

The hardest part of my job is the calls I make to the families of our fallen heroes, but each time I put down the phone, I am touched and amazed by the strength, the grace, and the pride with which these brave survivors handle the tremendous sacrifice of their loved one. 

So now, please join me as we pay tribute to those who gave the last full measure of devotion in the service of their state and country this past year:

Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden

Sergeant First Class Alvin A. Boatwright

Staff Sergeant Thomas J. Dudley

Sergeant Lashawn D. Evans

Private First Class Kalin C. L. Johnson

Sergeant First Class Johnathan Bryant McCain

Gunnery Sergeant Ralph Earl Pate, Jr.

Private First Class Cheziray Pressley

Master Public Safety Officer Edward Scott Richardson

Sergeant Ryan D. Sharp

Chief Warrant Officer Terry L. Varnadore II

Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz, Jr.

Private First Class Justin M. Whitmire

We will never forget.

We are a patriotic people, South Carolinians.  We love our state, we love our country, and we love our men and women who put on the uniform, who keep us safe.  They are our parents and our children, our husbands and our wives, our mothers, our fathers, our siblings, our friends.

We are honored to have with us the parents of one of those heroes, Lance Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter from Gilbert, who was wounded in Afghanistan and is continuing his recovery at Walter Reed.  The prayers of South Carolina continue to be with Kyle and all of our wounded veterans.  Mr. and Mrs. Jim Carpenter, thank you for being here.

Tonight, there are 766 families across the state with loved ones in the South Carolina Army National Guard who are deployed and serving overseas, far from their homes.

Our family shares a special bond with the military families of South Carolina.  Like them, we know the pride of watching our loved one wear the uniform of the strongest, proudest nation in the history of the world – loving his job.   Please join me in welcoming my husband, an officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard, and the coolest first man ever, Michael Haley.

I have often said, and I firmly believe, that if I'm a good wife and a good mother, I will be a good governor.  The greatest blessing of my life is being a mom to two little ones, a daughter who loves to dance, and a son who wants to be the next LeBron.

Please help me thank my two little ones who keep me humble every day and remind me that no matter what is going on in the world, the most important title I have will always be “Mom.” Rena and Nalin, give us a wave.

I have great love and great respect for our state motto, “Dum Spiro Spero,” meaning “While I Breathe, I Hope.”  We adopted it in 1776, that fateful year that birthed the nation each of us is blessed to call our home.  It described South Carolinians then – tough, resilient, and ever optimistic, and I believe it describes us now.

The people we call our friends and neighbors, the people known around the world as South Carolinians, cherish our faith, our families, and the values they instill in us.

We believe all is possible with hard work.

And our great hope lies in creating a better tomorrow for our children and our children’s children.

Ladies and gentlemen, while I breathe, I hope, and it is with great faith in those words, the words chosen by our forefathers, that I say to you tonight that the state of our state is surging.

When this Administration came into office, just over a year ago, with unemployment in double digits and growing, our focus was almost singular – jobs.

The reason is fairly simple:  if you give a person a job, you take care of a family.  And we have a lot of families to take care of in South Carolina.

The good news is we’ve made great progress this past year.  The bad news is we still have a ways to go.  But my pledge to each of you sitting before me tonight, and more importantly, to the 4.6 million South Carolinians outside of these walls, is that I will not rest until we’ve created a climate in which every citizen of this state who wants a job, has a job.

We have grown and expanded our South Carolina family this year, welcoming in some wonderful new partners.  And after all was said and done, due to the kind of cooperation through all branches and at all levels of government that can and should spread beyond the economic development arena, we were able to celebrate 5 billion dollars of investment in South Carolina, and the recruitment of almost 20,000 new jobs in our great state.

In a few moments, I’m going to recognize a number of those new partners, who Michael and I have invited here tonight as our special guests.

But before doing so, I want to focus a little on the cooperation mentioned earlier, on what it looks like, and what it has meant for our state.

We all remember the excitement that swept across South Carolina back in the fall of 2009, when Boeing chose North Charleston as the location to build a new line of 787 Dreamliners.

We remember what 1,000 initial jobs meant to the people of our state, and we remember it as the lift our economy, and our spirits, needed.

We remember the promise of thousands of future aerospace jobs, both inside and out of the Boeing plant, and what those jobs will do for the next generation of South Carolinians.

It was the greatest economic development success the Palmetto State had celebrated in almost two decades, and the people of our state wrapped our arms around the newest member of the South Carolina family.

Part of the reason our enthusiasm for Boeing knew no bounds was we’d seen how they operated in Washington State – they took care of those that took care of them.  While they were creating 1,000 jobs here, they were expanding 2,000 more in Washington State.

Not a single Boeing worker was hurt by their decision – in fact, just the opposite.

A  commitment from Boeing – to a state, to a community, to a workforce – is a real commitment, a proven commitment, and we knew that the face of South Carolina would be forever changed.

Then, this spring, the National Labor Relations Board reared its head, suing Boeing in what will surely be remembered as one of the most fundamentally un-American decisions ever handed down by the federal government.

And South Carolina would not stand for it.

From every corner of our state, we pushed back.  Our federal delegation.  Business leaders.  State and local officials.  And most importantly, the citizens of South Carolina.

And Boeing stood tall.  Under tremendous pressure from the President and his union allies, this great American company said no, we did nothing wrong and we refuse to cave.  And late last year, the NLRB backed down and dropped its frivolous suit.

Please take a moment to join me in expressing our gratitude to a great American – and yes, a great South Carolinian, as he now has a home in the Lowcountry – Judge Michael Luttig, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Boeing Company, and a tremendous friend to the State of South Carolina.

I run through this story that many of us already know because there are a number of important lessons that lie within.

First is the lesson I want to make clear to the business community, both in and out of our state:  when you’re here, you’re family.  No one will fight harder for you, no one will do more to make and keep you competitive, than the state and the people of South Carolina.

Second, for the federal government, the lesson must be that if you pick a fight with South Carolina, you better be prepared for one, because South Carolinians take care of our own.  We always have, we always will, and we will not tolerate indefensible attacks on our citizens.

And third, the lesson that I, and I hope you, take away from this episode is that together, speaking with one voice and driving toward a clear and focused goal, there is nothing that South Carolina cannot accomplish.

The sheer size of investment, and the raw number of jobs we have seen come our way this year – during a time when states and nations are struggling economically in ways the world has rarely seen – is a testament to the truth of that idea.

Coming into office a year ago, Secretary Bobby Hitt and I found an economic development community in South Carolina that was fractured.  But job recruitment is, by its very nature, a team sport.  You don’t just sell a state; you sell a state, a county, a community, and a way of life.

They say all politics is local – that is twice as true for economic development.

And the team effort has worked.

We have so much to be excited about – and not just in the traditional economic hotbeds like Charleston and Greenville and Lexington, who we want to continue to thrive and grow, but also in the less populated areas like Orangeburg and Union and Denmark.

Please help me celebrate some of the great announcements we have had over the year.  Every South Carolinian should be proud of the fact that, of all the places in the world these companies could have picked, they elected to make our home, their home.

Please stand and be recognized:

Representing Continental Tire, in Sumter, George Jurch

Representing TD Bank, in Greenville and Lexington, David Lominack

Representing Bridgestone Americas, in Graniteville, Steve Brooks

Representing Nephron Pharmaceuticals, in West Columbia, Lou and Bill Kennedy

Representing BMW Manufacturing, in Greer, who just produced their two-millionth car, Max Metcalf

Representing Otis Elevator, in Florence, Torsha Hicks

Representing ZF Group, in Duncan, Dr. Ludger Reckmann

Representing Innovative Composites International, in Orangeburg, Rubens Roque

Representing Be Green Packaging, in Ridgeland, Mark Blitzer and Dave Brown

Representing GKN Aerospace, in Orangeburg, Kevin Cummings

Representing TigHitco, in North Charleston, Jeff Winkler

Representing Gestamp South Carolina, in Union, John Craig

Please stand and give all of these friends of South Carolina a round of applause.

We have another reason to celebrate in South Carolina.

From the tidal creeks of Beaufort to the shores of Lake Keowee, South Carolina is blessed with the kind of natural beauty that makes us the envy of the nation.

And this was the year we finally beat San Francisco – Charleston was named the top tourist destination in America.  Please join me in congratulating Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who unfortunately couldn’t be with us tonight.

But we can’t rely on God’s gifts alone to keep our tourism industry – the second largest industry in our state – turning.  We have to sell South Carolina.

And there is no better opportunity, no better showcase for our state and our citizens, than the Heritage Golf Tournament.

For a generation, the Heritage had been backed by a long-time corporate sponsor.  It was a shock to our system that we lost their support.

But that shock did not justify the knee-jerk response from some in our government.  It is not now, nor will it ever be, the responsibility of the taxpayers of South Carolina to fund a golf tournament.

Instead, it is the responsibility of the leaders of our state to do the work necessary – sometimes hard, sometimes less-than-glamorous – to preserve the events that we value, that pump dollars into our economy and energy into our communities.

And the hard work of many – Duane Parrish, in particular, and a host of local stakeholders on Hilton Head Island – paid off.

The nation will again watch as the best in the world walk down the 18th fairway at Harbour Town, awed by the beauty of the setting, the state, and the graciousness of our people.

South Carolina has a new partner, a great friend, so please help me thank and welcome the title sponsor of the Heritage golf tournament, RBC, represented tonight by James Tricolli.

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t thank, once again, Boeing, the local presenting sponsor of the RBC Heritage.

While we have made great progress, there is more work to do.

We will continue to sell our great state each and every day, to fight for the jobs our people need and for the financial security they deserve.

In order to better do that, we, in this room, need to focus on legislation that is pro-business and helps us create a more competitive environment.

I have long said that it is a wonderful thing when we recruit new companies to South Carolina, but when one of our own expands, that’s when the real celebration begins.

We have to take care of the businesses we already have, and when they can grow and invest back into their people, their product, and our state, we’re doing something right. 
As we talk with CEOs from around the world, their focus is clear:  keep the cost of doing business low.
Our agencies have taken strides to reduce regulations and fees, and to change the culture so that every single employee understands that if government is costing our businesses time, we are costing them money.  And that is unacceptable. 

Speaking of lost time and money, I want to thank Speaker Bobby Harrell and Senator Larry Martin for leading the charge on tort reform last year.  Until 2011, South Carolina was the only state in the southeast that did not cap damages on lawsuits.  Thanks to the people in this room, that is no longer the case.

That was a huge first step.

My ask of you today is to remember that there is always more to be done on tort reform.  Looking at the states we compete with – the Tennessees, the Alabamas, the Virginias – it would be naïve to think they will settle for playing second fiddle to South Carolina in the economic arms race.  They will scrap for jobs every bit as hard as we will.

And the greater the protection we give our people and businesses from frivolous lawsuits, the better positioned we will be to capitalize on other assets.

The next step in tort reform is a loser-pays system, so that there is a real cost to suits that waste the time and money of our businesses and our courts, and that our companies understand that South Carolina won't stand for trial lawyers playing games with their bottom line.

We also need to strengthen our workforce.  It’s critical on two levels.

First, the ability of our state to provide a company with the workers it needs, to quickly move products, is a huge component to getting them here in the first place.  If they can’t find workers here, they’ll go somewhere else.

Second, and just as important, we want these jobs going to our people.  Twenty-thousand new jobs coming to our state is a lot more exciting when it means that 20,000 more South Carolina workers will be walking out the door each morning with their heads held high, with a sense of purpose and pride, able to care for themselves and their families.
The tools for an effective job training program already exist – we just need to do a better job of putting the puzzle together.  Our technical colleges and vocational rehab programs are as good as any in the country.  readySC has proven, time and time again, it can deliver the workers our companies need – and deliver them swiftly. 
It is our responsibility to ensure that the left hand is talking to the right, that we aren’t wasteful, and that every dollar directed to workforce training is actually spent training our workforce.
Before the month is out, you will see us unveil a restructuring of our workforce training program.   Under the direction of General Abe Turner, and in partnership with one of the most respected and effective private sector companies in America, we will get our communities ready and put South Carolina back to work.

Finally, I love that we are one of the least unionized states in the country.  It is an economic development tool unlike any other. 
Our companies in South Carolina understand that they are only as good as those who work for them, and they take care of their employees. 
The people of South Carolina have a strong work ethic, they value loyalty, and they take tremendous pride in the quality of their work.
We don’t have unions in South Carolina because we don’t need unions in South Carolina.

However, as we saw with the assault from the NLRB, the unions don’t understand that.  They will do everything they can to invade our state and drive a wedge between our workers and our employers.  We can’t have that.
Unions thrive in the dark.  Secrecy is their greatest ally, sunlight their most potent adversary.  
We can and we will do more to protect South Carolina businesses by shining that light on every action the unions take.  With the help and support of Chairman Bill Sandifer and Director Catherine Templeton we will create a competitive playing field for the companies that choose to call our state home.  
We will require unions to tell the people of South Carolina how much money they are making on our backs, which politicians they are funding, and how much they are paying themselves. 
We will protect the right of every private and public citizen to refuse to join a union, and, by Executive Order, I will make it clear that our state will not subsidize striking workers by paying them unemployment benefits.
And we’ll make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted, and not welcome in the State of South Carolina. 

All of the strong, pro-business policies we put into place won’t matter, however, if we do not keep our fiscal house in order. 
During the past several years, agencies have faced financial challenges and used fund balances and flexibility to shift money between accounts to cover expenses like rent and payroll.  With revenues increasing, state government needs to stop these non-transparent accounting practices.  It’s time for truth in budgeting.
In my Executive Budget, we have funded agency operations with recurring funds so that taxpayers can see how much and where money is spent. 
No more agency shell games.  No more one-time money for multi-year expenses. 
Much of the so-called “growth” in this budget is not growth at all, but simply us being honest about how much it costs to operate state government.
To permanently control spending, our government can and must function within a spending cap.  And as you’ve heard me say time and time again, any General Fund dollars above and beyond that cap must go towards tax relief, debt relief, or reserve funds. 
We cannot continue to spend every dollar we have.  If it is bad policy in our homes and in our businesses – which I think we can all agree that it is – then it is bad policy in state government.  It has to end.

Milton Friedman, the famed economist, once said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
We agree.
In order to stay within the spending cap and deal with massive expansions in federally-mandated programs like Medicaid, we have had to make unpopular decisions.
But we’ve also tried to restore some of the programs and agencies that do pass that test, that do fulfill core functions of government.
The protection of our citizens and communities allows for us to have the quality of life we enjoy in our state.  Which is why, last week, our budget strengthened the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
We have restored funding to our DNA lab, so that SLED can clear the backlogs.  We have increased the number of SLED agents, equipment, and their technology budget.  And we’ve brought Chief Mark Keel home, where he belongs, so that SLED can return, quickly, to its intended mission:  serving the sheriffs and chiefs across South Carolina. 

We’ve also bolstered mental health, recognizing that failing to provide basic care to those who suffer from mental illness will cost us more in the long run, both in dollars and human costs. 
These are people who, if treated, can live safe and productive lives.  If left untreated, they often end up one of two places:  our emergency rooms or our jails.  
Finally, every child in South Carolina learns differently, some more so than others.  It is our responsibility as the leadership of this state to embrace that reality, not fight it, and give all of our children the chance to learn, to grow, and to thrive. 
And so the time to make a real investment in our charter schools has come – and our budget does just that. 
Charters are innovators – we need those fresh insights and ideas to help us improve our educational system for all of South Carolina’s children.  
Yes, we can, have, and will cut spending in the State of South Carolina.  But we must be smart about it.  The time of across-the-board cuts is over.

The Executive Budget also outlines a number of policy initiatives that will continue to move South Carolina forward and make us more competitive – and, importantly, it pays for them.

Tax reform is critical to our state – every conversation we have with CEOs at some point drifts to our tax structure, and we have been communicating with Representative Tommy Stringer and his tax reform committee on how we move forward with real changes this year.
Our budget includes almost 140 million dollars in tax cuts for the people and businesses of South Carolina.  These cuts will flatten the individual income tax from six brackets to three, reduce taxes for the citizens of our state by almost 80 million dollars, and phase out the corporate income tax over a four year period, injecting much needed dollars back into our businesses and giving us an unbelievable economic development tool.
The tax relief we ultimately adopt must be broad-based, offering relief to as many South Carolinians as possible.  And these tax cuts should mean lower rates – not more credits, exemptions, and loopholes that only benefit a chosen few. 
What we have laid out in the budget is a blueprint for how we believe the dollars available for tax reductions can best be spent.  Together, I believe we can agree to a set of tax cuts that make South Carolina more competitive and send more dollars back where they belong – in the pockets of the people and businesses of our state. 
 
The Executive Budget also presents a plan to give local school districts more control over school buses.  There is absolutely no reason for South Carolina to remain the only state in the nation that runs a bus fleet.  It is cumbersome, it is wasteful, and it prevents our Department of Education from focusing its efforts where they need to be – on educating the next generation of South Carolinians. 
Under the new system, individual school districts would be given the opportunity to decide whether to operate bus fleets themselves, to choose a private operation, or to develop a hybrid solution.  The goal here is to give districts as much flexibility as possible, as every district is made up of different students with different needs.  
We’re not interested in mandating bus choices down on our locals – what we are interested in is giving them options and getting the State of South Carolina out of the school bus maintenance business.

I know many in this Chamber are concerned about the situation with our ports.  The concerns are valid, because our ports are vital.  Let me start by assuring you that no one will work harder to get the funding necessary to deepen the Port of Charleston – starting with the creation of a port infrastructure fund in this year’s executive budget.   
Part of South Carolina’s advantage in recruiting industry is the Port of Charleston.  It is a huge part of why companies like Bridgestone, like Continental, like Michelin come to and expand in our state. 
From the first day of our Administration, I have worked with our federal delegation to clear away all of the impediments to making Charleston the premier port in the southeast – starting with getting the port to the post-Panamax depth of 50 feet. 
There has been much discussion about DHEC’s decision and whether two viable ports in the region are good or bad for the economics of South Carolina businesses and our state.  I have said it before, and I will say it again: I am not afraid of a 48-foot Georgia port, 36 miles up the Savannah River, confined to one-way traffic.   You should not be either.   
Let’s quit bickering and work together to see Charleston return to its greatness, Jasper have a future, and Georgetown have a purpose.  

Finally, the Executive Budget calls for an evolution of the way we fund higher education.   Our intention is twofold:  reward the schools that well-serve our students while providing real motivation for those that need to improve.

I was a legislator.  I remember the pressure that comes with the budget.  I also know that there needs to be a better, more consistent way to fund higher education, one based on merit and accountability, not on which school is the most popular. 

By adopting a new accountability-based funding formula for higher education, we all win.  The schools get stability and flexibility.  Legislators will no longer be faced with university lobbyists demanding dollar after dollar.  And above all, South Carolina’s parents and students will know that their education is fairly and appropriately funded. 

When this Administration took office, we were facing massive deficits in three agencies:  Corrections, Social Services, and Health and Human Services.  I told you then that deficits were unacceptable in the Haley Administration, and tonight, I am proud to say that not one Cabinet agency is running a deficit of even a single dollar. 
I’d like to request that the best cabinet a governor could ask for please stand and be recognized. 

The largest of those deficits was HHS, facing a hole of 228 million dollars.  In response, I asked you to release the handcuffs off the Department so they could truly manage our Medicaid program.  Under the leadership of Senator Harvey Peeler, you did, and for that, I thank you. 

Since then, HHS has moved aggressively to find problems and fix them.  Today, the program is on budget and has avoided the massive service and reimbursement cuts that other states continue to experience.   And this past week, we announced enhanced fraud prevention and quality control to reduce eligibility and payment errors found in audits of the Agency’s work under previous administrations.

A year ago, many of us argued that our number one health care problem in this country was its high cost– and that the way to provide better health to our citizens was not just massively expanding a broken system by giving it more government money. 

Medicaid is that broken system – there is too much waste, too much fraud, and too little focus on prevention and personal responsibility.  And almost all of those problems are caused by the mandates of the federal government.

But here in South Carolina, under the leadership of Director Tony Keck, we are tackling the root causes of our problems, not just the symptoms.

Healthcare providers are now working in partnership with us to improve quality and lower costs.  We identified payment reform to align incentives between health care providers, payers, and patients as a top priority and are implementing strategies to do just that. 

We are shifting towards Medicaid managed care, which independent studies show saves us money and delivers better quality than traditional Medicaid.  And for the first time, we are giving managed care companies a financial stake in improving quality year after year. 

No longer will the State of South Carolina bear the costs of poorly managed healthcare alone. 

We will continue to push back against the federal takeover of our healthcare system.  South Carolina does not want, and cannot afford, the President’s healthcare plan.  Not now, and not ever. 

To that end, we will not pursue the type of government-run health exchanges being forced on us by Washington.  Despite the rose-colored rhetoric coming out of D.C., these exchanges are nothing more than a way to make the state do the federal government’s bidding in spending massive amounts of taxpayer dollars on insurance subsidies that we can't afford.   We will have no part in that. 
Instead, we will continue to fight to increase transparency between patients and doctors and doctors and insurance companies and to get South Carolinians invested again in their health care.  As a nation, we can no longer allow ourselves to be divorced from the true cost of our health care – and in South Carolina, we won’t be.     

Last year, we spoke openly and honestly about the fact that it was a tough budget year, and for some groups, some programs, it was going to hurt.  In some respects, the same thing is true this year. 
I have been pleased to see what’s been accomplished on pension reform in the past few months.  Specifically, I want to recognize Senator Greg Ryberg, who has literally been banging the drum on this problem for years, as well as Senators Hugh Leatherman and Thomas Alexander, Representatives Brian White and Jimmy Merrill, and Retirement Director Bill Blume.  The seriousness and focus with which you have approached reforming our retirement system is commendable. 

Let’s be clear – the size of our pension system’s unfunded liability has ballooned from 199 million dollars in 1999 to 17 billion dollars this year.  If we are to honor our commitments to those who have already dedicated their careers to public service, then no one can dispute that this is an issue we must resolve to deal with today.

Fortunately, some steps have already been taken.  The recent decision to lower the assumed rate of return was an important one – not just because it means we will finally be more honest about how much we can expect our retirement systems to earn, but also because it forced us to confront the fact that our current policy of automatically awarding cost of living increases is irresponsible and unsustainable. 

To protect our pension funds, we must stop granting cost-of-living increases to our retirees in years when the funds are losing money.  It may not be politically popular, but it's the only responsible thing to do.

There are a number of other reforms that we must adopt in order to shore up the retirement systems and to curtail further abuses.  We need anti-spiking provisions that keep employees from using sick leave and vacation to artificially inflate their pension payouts. 

For new enrollees, we need to close the doors to the TERI program once and for all to prevent double-dipping. 

And while we're on the subject of double-dipping, we need to shut down the General Assembly's own retirement system.  It's time that legislators receive the same benefits as other state employees.

If we take these steps now, we can ensure that our state employees have a reasonable, sustainable, comfortable retirement.  If we don’t, if we continue to stick our heads in the sand, they may not have a retirement at all. 

The retirement system is not the only reform we need to move forward with – just this summer, we were reminded what happens when you have an agency that answers to more than one boss. 

At the Department of Transportation, we have a Secretary, appointed by the Governor, who runs day to day operations, and a Commission that sets policy and approves projects.  It’s a balancing act, one that has the entire Department answering to two bosses.   

Worse, the Commission system is entirely political and pits the regions of our state against each other.  How can we possibly have a statewide road plan when every project is initiated because of parochial needs and interests?  The honest answer is we cannot. 

DOT cannot repeat the mistakes of this past summer, and they will fix the structural issues causing the problems – but it is time for the two-boss system to go.  I ask that you support Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas, who has more than 60 cosponsors joining him in his effort to restructure the Department of Transportation. 

Many in this room worked on this issue in 2007.  We knew then that the actions we took were simply the first step.  It is time we finish the job and dissolve the Transportation Commission.

Speaking of restructuring, two decades ago, Governor Carroll Campbell made the following comment in his State of the State Address:

Ladies and gentlemen, 1992 is the time to start whipping government into shape. We must reform government and we must start now. … For at least 62 years, governors have stood at this podium appealing to the General Assembly for an efficient government, accountable to the people.  Eight studies spanning 70 years echoed this call, yet much of government answers to no one.

Twenty years later, we are closer than we have ever been to ridding the people of South Carolina of a backwards, 19th century government structure that continues to keep us down.  Chairman Jim Harrison got the bill rolling in the House, and our office has worked on the development of the Davis/Massey Amendment in the Senate. We ask that you support it.  It is time to abolish the Budget and Control Board.

The bill is now on the Senate floor.  Many in the Senate committed to the people of our state last June that Department of Administration will be the first task you complete this year.  I thank you for that – and I know that the people will hold you to your commitment.
I understand all-too-well the politics that stand in the way of this bill landing on my desk.  But the leadership of South Carolina has for far too long put politics ahead of progress, and our constituents deserve better. 

They deserve a government that hears them when they speak, that responds to their needs, that wastes less and serves better.  And they deserve a government that is truly, finally, accountable to them.

Please, don’t get distracted.  This is not about politics.  This is not about power.  This is simply about moving our state forward and responding to the will of the people.  It’s time to put this issue behind us, celebrate together, and move on.  

The first year of anything new brings challenges and opportunities, pleasant surprises, and regrettable disappointments.  This last year, for me, has been no different.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the willingness of legislators to work together and find common ground for the betterment of the people of South Carolina.   It is my sincere hope that that willingness remains and that we can continue to make progress on the issues we’ve touched on tonight.

My biggest disappointment has been just as surprising, although less pleasantly so.  I simply do not understand the culture of negativity that exists within our political class.  The initial response to almost every action is for someone to say “can’t” and “no” and then run to file a lawsuit.

I think differently.  I believe the only way we make South Carolina a better, stronger state is if we turn that same negative energy into a positive, and focus on “can” and “will” instead of “can’t” and “won’t”. 

No greater example of this negativity exists than the response of a few naysayers to the phone greeting we created for state employees.

Let me tell you the story of how that came about.

While my primary focus, day-to-day, is on getting our state working again, I also understand I am the Chief Executive of South Carolina, and I’ve tried to do what I can to improve the morale of state employees and remind them that our mission is customer service.

One afternoon, I was in my office, thinking about that culture of negativity that we’re trying so hard to change.   So I made my way to see Sheila Jones, our receptionist, and I asked her to try answering the phone, “It’s a great day in South Carolina, how may I help you?” and to let me know the response.

On the first try, the caller responded, “You know what, it is a great day in South Carolina!”

It was all the confirmation I needed.   The goal was for state employees to feel proud of where we live and what we do, and have a constant reminder that we work for the person on the other side of the line.   What could possibly be so wrong with that? 

Let’s think about this:  in 2011, we started with a deficit and ended with a surplus.

We announced almost 20,000 jobs and five billion dollars in new investments.

Our legislature showed the people they understood the importance of putting their votes on the record and passed tort, unemployment, and Medicaid reforms.

We protected the integrity of our election process from voter fraud and our citizens from the dangers of illegal immigration.

We saved the Heritage Golf Tournament and won the fight with the National Labor Relations Board.

Those are all reasons to celebrate.

But what I love is that we are a great state with good, hardworking people.  We are patriotic and love our country. We appreciate the simple blessings of life.   We understand that the hospitality we show visitors is reflective of all of us.  Through our challenges, we never forget the importance of holding on to our faith and families and always taking care of our neighbors. 
That to me, is more than enough reason to say, it is a great day in South Carolina.

And we’ve only just begun.

Thank you, God bless you, and may He continue to smile on South Carolina.  

 

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Weekly Schedule: January 17, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 17 includes:

Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will deliver her State of the State message, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Thursday, January 19, 9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley will participate in the launch of The Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council’s National Bus Tour, Charleston, S.C.

Thursday, January 19, 8:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will attend the CNN, Southern Republican Leadership Conference’s presidential debate, North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, S.C.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Schedule: January 9, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 9 included the following:

Monday, January 9

8:30 AM:  Newspaper interview.

9:45 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Agency meeting.

1:15 PM:  Agency meeting.

2:20 PM:  Agency meeting.

4:00 PM:  Economic development call.

5:30 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke to the Palmetto Business Forum, Board Room, 3rd Floor SCANA Corporation, 100 SCANA Parkway, Cayce, S.C.

Tuesday, January 10

9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Legislative meeting.

10:40 AM:  Gov. Haley welcomed ABATE members to the Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

11:45 AM:  Press conference.

2:15 PM:  Legislative meeting.

3:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at BIPEC’s 26th Annual Meeting, Marriott Hotel, 1200 Hampton Street, Columbia, S.C.

3:55 PM:  Economic development call.

4:10 PM:  Economic development call.

4:30 PM:  Magazine interview.

Wednesday, January 11

8:30 AM:  Legislative meeting.

10:00 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:20 AM:  Economic development call.

10:30 AM:  Legislative meeting.

11:15 AM:  Agency call.

3:30 PM:  Newspaper interview.

6:25 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Mitt Romney for a grassroots rally, The Hall at Senate’s End, 320 Senate Street, Columbia, S.C.

Thursday, January 12

10:00 AM:  Economic development meeting.

10:45 AM:  Economic development meeting.

11:00 AM:  Gov. Haley joined state and local officials for an economic development announcement at BMW, Greer, S.C.

2:00 PM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

9:00 PM:  Gov. Haley appeared on FOX News’ Hannity show.

Friday, January 13

9:00 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Gov. Haley held a press conference to discuss the Executive Budget, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:45 AM:  Agency meeting.

12:30 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Mitt Romney for a grassroots rally, University of South Carolina Aiken, Gymnasium, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, S.C.

5:20 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Mitt Romney for a veterans event, Hilton Oceanfront Resort, Commodore Room, 23 Ocean Lane, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Saturday, January 14

12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley attended the Huckabee Forum 2: South Carolina Undecided, Sottile Auditorium, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, S.C.

5:00 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Mitt Romney for a grassroots rally, American Legion Post 15, 34 South Artillery Drive, Sumter, S.C.

Monday, January 16

9:00 AM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the Tea Party State Convention, Springmaid Beach Resort, 3200 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

11:00 AM:  Policy meeting.

12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the South Carolina Republican Party Chairman’s Luncheon honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

3:15 PM:  Gov. Haley spoke at the S.C. Faith & Freedom Coalition Presidential Kick-off event, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

6:15 PM:  Economic development meeting.

9:00 PM:  Gov. Haley attended the South Carolina Republican Party/FOX News Channel/Wall Street Journal debate, Sheraton Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

 

Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule for Monday, January 16, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley’s schedule for Monday, January 16, 2012 includes the following public events:

9:00 AM:  Gov. Haley will provide welcoming remarks at the TEA Party State Convention, Springmaid Beach Resort, 3200 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

12:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will speak at the South Carolina Republican Party Chairman’s luncheon honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Convention Center, 2101 N. Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Updated address)

3:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will attend the S.C. Faith & Freedom Coalition Kickoff event, Sheraton Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Updated address)

9:00 PM:  Gov. Haley and First Gentleman Michael Haley will attend the SCGOP, Fox News Channel and Wall Street Journal Presidential Debate, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Note: The governor’s office will release a public schedule for the remainder of the week on Tuesday, January 17.


 

Gov. Nikki Haley unveils FY 2012-2013 Executive Budget

Budget falls well under spending cap, delivers tax relief

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley, surrounded by members of the Cabinet, today unveiled her FY 2012-2013 Executive Budget during a Statehouse press conference.

Gov. Haley said, “To control spending, our state government can and must function within a spending cap. Any General Fund dollars above and beyond the cap should go towards tax relief, debt relief, or reserve funds. We made tough decision just as we do in our homes and businesses every day. Government is not exempt from that process.”

The governor crafted the budget, which falls within a spending cap, with the following priorities in mind: transparency and truth-in-budgeting, living within our means, using recurring dollars for recurring needs, strengthening the state’s reserves and delivering meaningful tax relief to South Carolinians.

The executive budget also includes an accountability based funding formula for higher education, an accelerated highway turn back initiative, a ports infrastructure initiative, local choice for student transportation and increases support for law enforcement, charter schools and mental health services.

Gov. Haley said, “This year’s executive budget was a Team Haley effort. This was everybody coming together and saying we're going to do this – and there's going to be truth in budgeting.  This executive budget is a working document. This is the document we want the General Assembly to work off of. And you will see that the top priorities for this administration will continue to be how can we help existing businesses that are already there, and how we can attract new businesses. But what we know is that none of that matters if we don't keep our fiscal house in order. How we spend and what we spend matters.”

Executive Budget FY 2012-2013 (PDF)

Governor Haley Unveils FY 2012-2013 Executive Budget (Video)

 

BMW Announces plant expansion in Spartanburg County

$900 million investment expected to create 300 new jobs

January 12th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – BMW today announced that the company will expand its plant in Spartanburg County. The $900 million investment is expected to generate 300 new jobs. BMW also commemorated a production milestone today – 2,000,000 vehicles since the company began U.S. production in 1994.

Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Group Board Member responsible for Production, announced the company's intention to expand its X-model family. He said that production of the new BMW X4 will occur at the Spartanburg plant, spurring significant investment and job creation necessary to prepare the facility for the new model.

“I am delighted to announce today, over the next three years, we plan to invest nearly $900 million. With this investment, we will be able to produce 350,000 units here in the mid-term,” said Arndt. “This is one reaction to the rising global demand for our BMW X Models.”

With the addition of 300 new jobs, this year the plant will raise production capacities up to 300,000 units. By the end of the year, the plant will employ nearly 7,500 people at its more than 4 million-square-foot facility.

“BMW has once again provided tremendous evidence that South Carolina is a blueprint for significant economic development success. The partnership between this company and our state is an enduring example of how to attract, retain and grow business to stimulate perpetual job creation,” said Gov. Nikki Haley

Since the original decision to build BMW’s only U.S. plant in South Carolina in 1992, today’s announcement brings BMW Group’s total investment in the state to nearly $6 billion and represents its largest, single investment to date in its South Carolina plant.

“Two million vehicles have prepared our team well to meet the new opportunities that lie ahead for our plant. We look forward to a new model with great anticipation. For nearly 20 years, this team has always proven their steadfast commitment to producing quality vehicles for our customers around the world,” remarked Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing.

In 2011, the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for over 130 markets around the world representing a 73 percent increase from 2010. Seventy percent of the vehicles produced (192,813) were exported, making BMW the largest automotive exporter to the non-NAFTA countries. Sales of the vehicles produced at the plant have met with continued high demand. According to Arndt, throughout the world, more than 117,000 X3’s were sold in 2011 representing a 156 percent growth of this vehicle versus its predecessor. 

“I am thrilled to celebrate the 2 millionth BMW today,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce for South Carolina. “BMW’s impact on South Carolina’s economy and overall competitiveness is always worth celebrating. This new economic investment and commitment of jobs is a testament to South Carolina’s strong automotive manufacturing industry.”

In the past year, South Carolina has recruited more than $2.3 billion in investment and more than 4,000 new jobs in the automotive-related sector.

Since 1994, the plant has undergone four major expansions and produced six different BMW models and their variants (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3). Employment has grown from 500 in 1994 to more than 7,000 today.

BMW Manufacturing Co.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 110 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:  www.bmwgroupna.com.

 

Video: Gov. Nikki Haley, Attorney General Alan Wilson, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, State Sen. Kevin Bryant discuss Voter ID

January 10th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley, Attorney General Alan Wilson, House Speaker Bobby Harrell and State Sen. Kevin Bryant today discussed South Carolina’s fight to protect the integrity of the election process and the state’s response to the federal government’s latest attempt to block South Carolina’s Voter ID law during a Statehouse press conference.

Video of today’s press conference is available here.

Gov. Haley said, “This is a very important and pressing issue. We were fortunate enough to have the members of the House and members of the Senate listen to the will of the people - that we want to protect the integrity of our voting process. If you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed, if you have to show a picture ID to get on a plane, you should have to show a picture ID to do that one thing that is so important to us - vote. There is nothing we want more than to make sure every person in South Carolina can vote. And we're not just talking about it, we did something about it.”

Attorney General Wilson said, “What we intend to do is file suit...against DOJ in district court in the next week or two… and to ensure that no voter is suppressed in their right to vote and that the integrity of the electoral process is protected.”

House Speaker Harrell said, “The SCDMV has shown that over 99% of South Carolina’s voters have been issued the photo IDs required to cast a secure ballot, and the law made them free for the few people who don't have one.  These are facts the Justice Department chose to ignore when they rejected our state’s Voter ID law.  Our citizens want us to exercise our constitutional right to secure our state’s election process from fraud and abuse with Voter ID.  Given all the facts, it is clear how unjust President Obama’s Department of Justice has been to our state and why state lawmakers are supporting the appeal of the rejection.”

State Sen. Bryant said, “When I’m not here, I’m a pharmacist. When you come in my store, and you refill a narcotic prescription, I have to take and look at a picture ID to verify that you’re getting your prescription. Let’s talk about voter suppression. If you vote, and someone else votes fraudulently, they’ve suppressed your vote. It’s exactly the opposite of what the Obama administration has accused us of.”

 

Crown Casting Industries announces new facility in Greenwood County

$16 million investment expected to create 50 new jobs

January 10th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Crown Casting Industries, a modern iron and bronze foundry, today announced plans to open a plant in Greenwood County. The $16 million investment is expected to create 50 new jobs.

“We are excited about our decision to create jobs and invest in Greenwood County, South Carolina,” said George Bowyer, vice president at Crown Casting Industries. “Other states and countries were considered, however, based on all factors Greenwood County provided the best location for Crown Castings to grow in a highly competitive world market. Keeping jobs in the U.S. made company officials especially proud.”

The company will be located in the Corporate Park Industrial Building in Hodges, S.C., and is slated to begin operations during the second quarter of 2012.

“South Carolina continues to show that it’s a globally-competitive location for companies to set up shop. We celebrate Crown Casting’s decision to locate in the Palmetto State and create 50 new jobs here. We will continue to build on our state’s economic development successes,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

In the past year, South Carolina has recruited more than $3.9 billion in investment and more than 12,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Our state’s manufacturing sector continues to grow and create new jobs. Crown Casting’s choice to make South Carolina its new home is another sign that our state’s business-friendly climate and skilled workforce remain the key in attracting new investments like this one,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

Crown Casting Industries will serve broad commercial markets as well as specialty niche markets, like glass mold equipment. The foundry uses a modern process which is cost effective and designed to reduce waste and comply with all environmental regulations. This new plant will allow Crown Castings to vie with foreign competitors in its aggressive effort to gain market share.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have a modern, progressive company such as Crown Castings locate here in Greenwood County and especially in the heart of my council district,” said Bob Jennings, vice chairman of Greenwood County Council. “Their commitment will provide much needed jobs to the Hodges area and an economic boost to the economy. We look forward to working with Crown Castings for many years.”

Mark Warner, CEO of Greenwood Partnership Alliance added, “Crown Castings locating their operation here is further evidence that Greenwood County can compete on a national and global scale. We are especially thankful to all of our partners who helped in this effort, including the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Duke Energy and AdvanceSC, Greenwood County, Piedmont Technical College, Upper Savannah Workforce Investment Board, and the investors of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance. We welcome Crown Castings to the community and look forward to providing support as they ramp up production.”

Hal Johnson, Upstate SC Alliance president and CEO, stated that “the efforts of Greenwood County are to be applauded as the announcement of Crown Casting is great for the entire Upstate region, as all 10 counties will benefit from these jobs coming to our community.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved the company for a $100,000 grant for a building up-fit and also job development credits, which will be available when hiring targets are met.

Interested applicants should check the Index Journal and GwdToday for listings of Crown Casting job openings starting in February. Hiring for the bulk of the employees is expected to start in the second quarter of 2012. Applications will not be taken at the plant.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Weekly Schedule: January 9, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 9 includes:

Tuesday, January 10, 10:30 AM:  Gov. Haley will welcome ABATE members to the Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, January 10, 11:45 AM:  Gov. Haley will hold a press conference, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

Tuesday, January 10, 3:00 PM:  Gov. Haley will speak at BIPEC’s 26th annual meeting, Marriott Hotel, Carolina Ballroom, 1200 Hampton Street, Columbia, S.C.

Thursday, January 12, 11:00 AM:  Gov. Haley will participate in an economic development announcement, BMW Manufacturing Assembly North, 1155 Highway 101, Greer, S.C.

Note: As additional public events are added to the schedule, you’ll be notified.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Schedule: January 3, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 3 included the following:

Tuesday, January 3

9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

2:15 PM:  Agency meeting.

3:15 PM:  Economic development call.

3:20 PM:  Economic development call.

3:45 PM:  Constituent meeting.

Wednesday, January 4

9:25 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

9:30 AM:  Economic development call.

9:45 AM:  Economic development call.

10:05 AM:  Economic development call.

11:30 AM:  Call with a fellow governor.

11:40 AM:  Economic development time.

Thursday, January 5

9:30 AM:  Gov. Haley arrived at the Office of the Governor for office hours, Statehouse, Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM:  Agency meeting.

11:40 AM:  Call with a fellow constitutional officer.

11:50 AM:  Call with a fellow constitutional officer.

1:15 PM:  Call with a fellow constitutional officer.

1:20 PM:  Call with a fellow constitutional officer.

4:00 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain for a grassroots rally, Founder’s Hall, Charles Towne Hall Landing State Historic Site, 1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston, S.C.

5:30 PM: Media availability.

6:25 PM:  Call with a fellow constitutional officer.

Friday, January 6

8:20 AM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Romney and Sen. McCain for a grassroots rally, Peanut Warehouse, 107 Main Street, Conway, S.C.

3:00 PM: Newspaper interview.

3:10 PM: Newspaper interview.

3:15 PM:  Television interview.

6:15 PM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Romney for a Spaghetti Dinner, Knowles Hall, Tilton School, 30 School Street, Tilton, N.H.

Saturday, January 7

8:20 AM:  Gov. Haley joined Gov. Romney for a grassroots rally, Field House, Pinkerton Academy, 5 Pinkerton Street, Derry, N.H.

9:50 AM:  Television news interview.

10:15 AM: Television news interview.

6:00 PM:  Gov. Haley visited the Romney for President’s New Hampshire Headquarters, Manchester, N.H.

9:00 PM:  Gov. Haley attended the WMUR-ABC News Yahoo Debate, Dana Center, Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, N.H.

Gov. Nikki Haley joins Scott, Duncan in condemning Obama’s NLRB recess appointments

January 5th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – According to the Washington Post, President Barack Obama made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. These appointments “are something unions have made a big priority for them in the new year,” the newspaper noted.

Governor Nikki Haley today joined members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation in condemning these appointments.

Gov. Haley said, “These recess appointments, which will energize unions across the country in advance of this year’s election, represent an outrageous abuse of the president’s power. With the unprecedented attack on Boeing, South Carolina has seen first-hand what the NLRB is willing to do to American jobs and American workers. Today's actions are just another example of how far this president will go to keep the support of his union political allies - and frankly, it's shameful.”

“The President clearly does not understand the potential damage an out-of-control NLRB can do to our nation’s economy. We saw a glimpse of that potential in my district when the NLRB sued Boeing for no rational reason, and last September the House passed legislation I introduced which would remove the ability of the board to actively destroy American jobs,” said Congressman Tim Scott (S.C.-01).  “The NLRB’s recent track record shows it has been guided by political agendas, instead of acting as the unbiased arbiter it was created to be. Board members must be properly scrutinized to ensure this cannot continue, and that the workplace rights of all Americans are protected. With recess appointments, this important vetting process simply doesn’t happen.”

“President Obama is thumbing his nose at the American people and the Constitution of the United States,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan (S.C.-03). “I’ve never seen a President so blatantly disregard the law. With this appointment, President Obama is claiming he has the power to ignore one of the most critical checks that our Founding Fathers placed on the President.”

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Weekly Schedule: January 3, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of January 3 includes:

Thursday, January 5: Gov. Haley will join Mitt Romney in Charleston, S.C.

Friday, January 6: Gov. Haley will join Mitt Romney in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and New Hampshire.

Saturday, January 7:  Gov. Haley will join Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.

Note: As additional public events are added to the schedule, you’ll be notified.


Gov. Nikki Haley’s Schedule: December 27, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Nikki Haley’s schedule for the week of December 27 included the following:

Tuesday, December 27

12:50 PM:  Newspaper interview.

Wednesday, December 28

1:45 PM:  Newspaper interview.

4:10 PM:  Agency call.

Friday, December 30

10:00 AM:  Newspaper interview.

11:50 AM:  Economic development call.

12:00 PM:  Economic development call.

Contact Us 

  

Phone: 803.734.2100
Fax: 803.734.5167

Mailing Address:
The Honorable Nikki R. Haley
Office of the Governor
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201

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