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Gov. Haley and DHHS Director Keck press conference

February 25th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – This morning, Governor Nikki Haley and DHHS Director Tony Keck held a press conference to praise the Senate – in particular Senator Peeler – for choosing the people and patients of our state over the special interests in moving to strike provisos that prohibit the DHHS director from setting rates paid to providers through Medicaid. The governor and Director Keck encouraged the House to follow the Senate’s lead.

I wanted to pass along video of the press conference:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyQVoYAUu08

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Gov. Haley praises Senate confirmation of Kela Thomas, all Cabinet appointments

February 25th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today thanked the South Carolina Senate for confirming Kela Thomas as Director of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (PPP). The S.C. Senate has now confirmed all of Gov. Haley’s Cabinet appointments.

“First, I want to thank the Senate for moving quickly to confirm all thirteen of our Cabinet appointments,” said Gov. Haley. “Next, we couldn’t be happier that Kela Thomas can turn her full attention to working with Judge Byars at Corrections and Margaret Barber at DJJ to reduce recidivism rates in our state and make our communities safer.”

Thomas, who lives in Columbia, was the Deputy Director for Administration at PPP where she has served as a top advisor to the Director on administrative, fiscal, professional development and information technology issues since 1999.

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Gov. Haley praises Senate for striking Medicaid provisos

February 24th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today issued the following statement after the South Carolina Senate gave key approval to S. 434 – striking the provisos that prohibit the South Carolina Health and Human Services Director from setting rates paid to providers through Medicaid:

“We thank the Senators – and Senator Peeler in particular – for a courageous move towards improving health in our state. Tony Keck and I are committed to providing as much health to our patients for as little cost as possible to our taxpayers, and that effort started today.  Senators chose the people and patients of South Carolina over the special interests - this was a huge win for our state.”

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Gov. Haley's higher education press conference

February 23rd

Today, Governor Nikki Haley held a press conference with officials from South Carolina’s public colleges and universities. There, they announced measurables for an accountability-based higher education funding formula.

The governor also took questions from reporters on various issues.

I wanted to pass along video of the press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S2a0WWupCA

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Gov. Haley speaks to tourism conference

February 22nd

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Governor Nikki Haley visited Charleston where she addressed the Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Travel. I wanted to pass along video of her remarks at the conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhbK7LQcGc0

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S.C. Senate confirms two additional Cabinet appointees

February 17th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today praised South Carolina Senate confirmation of two additional Cabinet appointments: Duane N. Parrish as Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT), and Margaret Barber as Director of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).


Gov. Haley issued the following statements regarding the confirmations:

PRT: “I want to thank the Senate and Sen. Ronnie Cromer for confirming Duane Parrish. We couldn’t be more excited that Duane can get to work. Duane knows that tourism drives our state’s economic development engine, and he’s ready to work around the clock to ensure our state is a premier destination for tourists from around the country and around the world.”


DJJ: “I want to thank the Senate and Sen. Glenn McConnell for confirming Margaret Barber. Margaret Barber’s career in public service proves her commitment to improving lives – in particular the lives of children and families – by strengthening this critical state agency.”  

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Gov. Haley: Aflac expansion “shows we’re doing everything right in South Carolina”

February 15th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today joined Aflac President and Chief Operating Officer Paul S. Amos II, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin to announce that Aflac would make a significant investment in South Carolina and expand operations in Columbia to create an expected 100 jobs in 2011.

Watch video of Gov. Haley’s remarks at the Aflac event here.

Gov. Haley said, “What we’ve talked about is not just bringing jobs to South Carolina but to also see companies expand. It’s a great thing when a company moves to South Carolina; it’s an absolute celebration when we have an expansion because it shows we’re doing everything right in South Carolina. The business environment is improving, work conditions are improving, and we continue to do everything that companies want to see.”

The governor continued, “We’re thrilled to have Aflac expanding in South Carolina and delivering on its commitment to our state, which now means 100 new jobs this year. When we work to cut the amount of red-tape on our businesses, reduce the tax burden and fight to protect our right to work status, business flourishes and it’s a big win for our state.”

Over the past three weeks, Gov. Haley has made economic development announcements in the Midlands, Upstate and Lowcountry that included news of hundreds of millions of dollars of investment and the creation of new jobs in South Carolina.

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S.C. Senate confirms five of Gov. Haley’s Cabinet appointees

February 10th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today praised South Carolina Senate confirmation of five more Cabinet appointments: William R. Byars, Jr., as Director of the Department of Corrections;  Lillian B. Koller as Director of the Department of Social Services (DSS); Kevin A. Shwedo, Colonel, United States Army (Retired), as Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); Robert J. St. Onge, Jr., Major General, United States Army (Retired), as Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT); and Bob Toomey as Director of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS).

Gov. Haley issued the following statements regarding the confirmations:

Corrections: “I want to thank State Sen. Mike Fair and the entire Senate, for confirming Judge Byars, a true public servant who is committed to improving lives in our state. As we have said all along, the work Judge Byars did at DJJ was nothing short of a miracle. We’re pleased to have him at Corrections where he’ll employ that same innovative leadership and focus on reducing recidivism rates in South Carolina.”

DOT, DMV: “I want to thank State Sen. Larry Grooms and the entire Senate for confirming Robert St. Onge and Kevin Shwedo. They have both served our country, we’re grateful for their service, and we’re ready for them to bring efficient and effective leadership that’s free from politics to DOT and DMV.”

DSS: “I want to thank the Senate, and especially State Sen. Thomas Alexander, for confirming Lillian Koller. Lillian and her team have already made progress at the agency, eliminating a projected $28 million deficit and doing what I have asked of all of my Cabinet appointees: showing meaningful results for the people quickly. Lillian has been recognized time after time for her achievements in getting results for families and children and in making government more transparent and accountable. We couldn’t be happier that she can get to work.”

DAODAS: “I want to thank the Senate, and in particular State Sen. Harvey Peeler, for confirming Bob Toomey. Bob realizes that improving the quality of critical services – including prevention and treatment of substance abuse and addiction – will go a long way toward keeping people out of our hospitals and prisons, improving the quality of life in our state and saving tax dollars.”

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Gov. Haley praises House for upholding veto 112-0

February 8th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today praised members of the South Carolina House of Representatives for unanimously sustaining her veto of local legislative bill H. 3321, by a vote of 112-0, and thanked the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Roland Smith, for leading the floor effort to uphold the veto.  The veto was Gov. Haley’s first since taking office less than a month ago.

Traditionally, only members of the affected delegation have voted on vetoes pertaining to their local bills, and the governor views the full House's willingness to fulfill their duties and vote to sustain as a huge step forward. 

“I would like to thank the House for taking the first step in what I hope is the end of the unconstitutional practice of local legislation,” said Gov. Haley.  “I would also like to specifically thank State Rep. Roland Smith for recognizing the fundamental problems with local legislation and for leading the charge to sustain my veto.  It's a great day for those fighting to return state government to its proper role."

In her veto message, Gov. Haley pointed to the Home Rule provisions in the state Constitution when she said, “given these clear constitutional rules and my belief that the best government is that closest to the people, I will veto any local legislation I believe is clearly unconstitutional.”

H. 3321: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/web_bh10.exe

Governor’s veto message:  H3321-R3 (PDF)

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Senate confirms David Black as new Department of Insurance Director

February 3rd

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Governor Haley released the following statement after David Black was confirmed as the new Director of the Department of Insurance by the State Senate:


“We’re pleased David Black can get to work at Insurance, and we’d like to thank Senators Wes Hayes and David Thomas, as well as the entire Senate, for moving quickly on this confirmation. With a background in business and insurance, David Black understands some critical things about Insurance: it must be a customer friendly, pro-business agency that doesn’t wait for companies to come to us – we must go to them.”


Before serving as the director of the Department of Insurance, Mr. Black served as the President and CEO of Liberty Life Insurance Company in Greenville from 2004 to 2010.  He also previously served on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.


Senate confirms Jim Etter as new Department of Revenue Director
February 3rd
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today praised State Senate confirmation of Jim Etter as Director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue:

“We’re grateful for Senator Hugh Leatherman and the Senate’s swift action to put a strong, pro-business advocate at the Department of Revenue. Jim Etter is exactly what we need because he knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the red tape and understands what it takes to keep businesses in compliance while also keeping them strong and growing.”


Etter lives in Blythewood and previously served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Norco Equipment, LLC in Columbia. Prior to working at Norco, Etter served as vice president and chief financial officer at Thermal Engineering Corporation in Columbia and vice president and chief financial officer of Young Pecan Shelling Company in Florence. Etter was also appointed by the United States Bankruptcy Court to administer the liquidating operations of HomeGold Financial Inc.

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Gov. Haley appoints Adolf A. Zubia as next State Fire Marshal

February 1st

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced Adolf A. Zubia as the next State Fire Marshal. Zubia has more than 23 years of experience in fire and emergency services, including more than 17 years of management experience.

For video of the announcement, click here.Gov. Haley said, “We’re pleased that Adolf Zubia has agreed to serve as Fire Marshal because he strikes the perfect balance between protecting the safety and needs of our fire service members and strengthening our businesses.”

A graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, Mr. Zubia served as president of International Code Council, a 50,000 member association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention.

“I want to thank Gov. Haley for this opportunity,” said Mr. Zubia. “I’m eager and enthusiastic to get to work with the staff at the Fire Marshal’s office and the fire service members of the state of South Carolina.”

Mr. Zubia was Fire Chief for the City of Las Cruces (New Mexico) for eight years (2001 – 2009) where he was responsible for management, administration and operations of the fire department.  Prior to service as Las Cruces fire chief, Mr. Zubia was Fire Marshal for Dona Ana County (New Mexico) for almost three years (1998 – 2001) and Fire Marshal for the City of Las Cruces for six years (1992 – 1998). Mr. Zubia also participated in Harvard’s Fellowship Program for Senior Executives in state and local government in 2003.

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Gov. Haley praises LLR’s direct savings to businesses and taxpayers

February 1st

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced direct savings to the businesses and taxpayers of South Carolina that Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Director Catherine Templeton has been able to achieve in her first two weeks on the job.

Gov. Haley said, “The Haley administration has asked all of our Cabinet members to show results to the people of this state quickly. What Catherine Templeton has done for the businesses and taxpayers of this state in two weeks at LLR is what I want the rest of our Cabinet to follow in the next year. We are proud of Catherine’s leadership and look forward to more successes.”


Direct savings include:

Reduced requested General Fund allocations by almost $600,000 from the Sanford budget.

Reduced fees for 98,373 licensees in South Carolina for a savings of approximately $1.6 million per renewal cycle.

Reduced verification fee payable to the agency by various businesses throughout the state for a savings to businesses of $60,630 annually.

Created a savings in salary and benefits of $550,000 annually by executing a reduction in force and not filling vacant positions.

Cut waste in current Fire Marshall’s budget to find $650,000 for the Urban Search and Rescue.

Annual savings of $2,500 from using letterhead templates instead of ordering from Prison Industries.

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Gov. Haley announces Kela E. Thomas as next PPP director

February 1st

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced Kela E. Thomas as the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (PPP). Thomas, who lives in Columbia, is currently the Deputy Director for Administration at PPP where she has served as a top advisor to the Director on administrative, fiscal, professional development and information technology issues since 1999.

“Kela Thomas understands the challenges that PPP faces, and she will work closely with Judge Byars at Corrections and Margaret Barber at the Department of Juvenile Justice to reduce the recidivism rate in South Carolina,” said Gov. Haley.

Previously, the governor announced her support for legislation that would consolidate PPP into a division of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, streamlining administrative services and saving tax dollars.

Ms. Thomas served as development director at the University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health. Prior to that, Ms. Thomas was a senior project manager at Fleet Mortgage Group in Columbia. She is active in her community.

Ms. Thomas was appointed after Lynne Rogers decided due to personal reasons to return to her job at the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

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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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