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Candidates urged to keep Gov's budget blueprint

Gov. Mark Sanford objected Wednesday to a campaign proposal to scrap the detailed executive budgets that Sanford introduced when he took office in 2003.

While governors are required to submit a budget proposal, past governor typically submitted a short list of policy priorities because the Legislature controls most of the budget-writing process. But Sanford and his staff drafted detailed plans off of which, they believed, state government could run.

Last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley said she would do away with detailed executive budgets, which were typically ignored due to the acrimony between Sanford and lawmakers. Instead, Haley said, she would set a small list of priorities and work with lawmakers during the process.

In a message sent to Sanford’s campaign e-mail list, the outgoing governor argued his successor should also draft a detailed budget.

“These Executive Budgets have been vital in creating a budget blue print that showed how we could fund core services of government without raising taxes,” Sanford wrote, encouraging recipients to read a Post and Courier editorial on the subject. “They were important in showing the savings that might come from restructuring and consolidating government.”

Sanford does not mention Haley, a political ally who shares many of Sanford’s positions, by name in the e-mail.