A local tourist attraction and a regional festival have been hit hard by Gov. Mark Sanford's veto pen. The governor's line-item objections to the state budget are often ignored by the state legislature, but a particularly tough year has led the state House to uphold nearly half of the governor's 107 vetoes.
Sanford cut $50,000 from the Department of Natural Resources' budget — money used to support the Southeastern Wildlife Expo, a key event in Charleston's tourist calendar. SEWE Executive Director Jimmy Huggins says the group is still trying to determine how the loss will impact its budget.
A larger cut hit the Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon. After two large renovation projects, the state had been putting aside $145,500 a year into a rainy day fund.
Eric Emerson, the director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, says the money was put aside to save for big-ticket repairs. The last work on the building in 2006 cost $1.8 million.
Sanford suggested the tourist attraction make up the difference by renting the space for events. Sounds like someone is shopping for a wedding venue for wife No. 2. —Greg Hambrick