When he gets overridden 40-0, does the governor ever think that maybe, just maybe, he might be wrong?

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That’s what I was thinking when I read this:

More than 200 of South Carolina’s oldest, most fire-prone school buses will be replaced by the next school year.

The state Senate voted 44-0 Tuesday to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of $20.5 million to cover the cost of buying 210 new school buses. The House voted to override the governor’s veto last week.

That money will help the state cut the number of fire-prone 1995 and 1996 buses in operation to 349, better ensuring the safety of thousands of S.C. students who take the bus to school each day….

Not a single vote to sustain, in a body dominated by his own party — and containing some senators who don’t like the gummint spending money no way, nohow. Yikes.

At least he got eight votes last week in the House last week. Of course, 107 voted to override…

41 thoughts on “When he gets overridden 40-0, does the governor ever think that maybe, just maybe, he might be wrong?

      1. Claus2

        The one who follows the money typically is the one the dame is walking after… with the creepy guy following her.

        Reply
  1. Claus2

    Why is the State even in the school bus business, why not leave it up to the school districts like every other state?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      It seems like we’ve had this conversation before.

      Local government is a new concept in South Carolina. Long known to political scientists as “The Legislative State,” from colonial times, power has been concentrated not only at the state level, but specifically in the legislative branch, keeping both the executive and judiciary weak.

      Legislators ran local governments, to the extent that local government existed. The Legislature would pass a “supply bill” drafted by a county’s legislative delegation (a process dominated by the local senator), and that would be the local budget. There were no county councils; the delegation filled that function. Before single-member districts, all legislators were elected at-large from the whole county, which facilitated that process.

      In 1975, the Home Rule Act was passed, setting up county government and supposedly liberating local government from the Legislature. The Legislature has been very stubborn about surrendering power, however.

      I’ve been an advocate for devolving power down to the local level since I first wrote about all of this in the early ’90s.

      However… there’s one exception. I think when it comes to public education, the state needs to take more responsibility than it does. I believe in the principle of subsidiarity, which holds the authority should reside in the smallest, most local entity capable of wielding it effectively — and unfortunately, too many local school districts have shown themselves to be incapable.

      As to school buses, I don’t have a strong preference (except that it seems it might be wasteful to set up 90-something separate bus operations, rather than just one). But on the whole, more of the responsibility for running schools should reside in Columbia. Our state constitution sets out public education as a state responsibility, and the state needs to act like it…

      Reply
        1. I AM A ROBOT

          “Probably.”

          Too much cronyism here. Certain school districts have Taj Mahal admin buildings, while others operated out of an enlarged port-potty design campus.

          Also, everybody seems to have a brother or cousin or […] who is in said business to be funded/sploshed with cash and perks and toothy gals, etc.

          Reply
  2. Karen Pearson

    The fact that he has backed Trump tells me volumes about his judgement, not to mention the validity of his moral posture.

    Reply
  3. Doug Ross

    Burning school buses driving down crumbling roads to inadequately funded schools… that’s the image we’re supposed to have of South Carolina. How else you going to get more money unless you go for the full on “what about the children?!?!?” mantra?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, it’s all made up. Those bus fires were probably set by the big, bad government just to take money from poor ol’ Doug’s wallet.

      And since the object of all this lying about our state’s needs has as its object appropriating more money — what, pray tell, is the motivation? The money isn’t going into lawmaker’s pockets. It’s being spent on buses, on schools, on roads. I’d really like to see where there is a believable human motivation for appropriating more money than the state needs — a motivation on the part of the people seeking and appropriating the money. What’s in it for them?

      These are real needs, Doug. Real needs for the whole state, not for this person or that person. I’m sorry that the words people use to explain these needs irritate you. I realize that it really, really bugs you that our state needs things that cost money.

      You know what? I find myself actually avoiding using the word “crumbling” to describe our roads — even though roads I regularly drive on are literally crumbling — just to avoid setting you off.

      Which is ridiculous…

      Reply
        1. Bryan Caskey

          For me, I don’t think the age of the bus really has anything to do with it as long as the buses are properly maintained. Having said that, at some point, it probably becomes more expensive to maintain the buses, than to buy new ones.

          I’d be interested in learning more about how school buses are maintained. Does each County have it’s own maintenance, is it statewide, and what levels of maintenance do we do compared to NC, GA, and other similar states?

          Reply
            1. Norm Ivey

              I’m not sure why I chose that word. It comes to mind very naturally for some reason.

              I think we have our own maintenance garage. Better?

              Reply
    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Speaking of the “what about the children?” argument that bugs Doug so, I see that the House Republicans, of all people, are now using it:

      … which caused Tim Ervolina to respond, “Wait. Don’t you people control all three branches of government? Asking for a friend across the aisle.”

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        Just once… once… I’d like to see them propose spending millions of dollars on something that is absolutely, positively, a crisis — like the alleged burning school buses full of children — by saying “You know what? This is so important, we’re going to transfer money that is spent on items that aren’t quite life threatening and shift it over there to that important issue.” Maybe we can have the burning school buses drive past the Hunley Museum before it explodes? Or maybe we could shift money spent on arts programs to preventing children from dying? Nope. You don’t prioritize when it comes to government funding, you just grab more.

        There is NOTHING preventing the replacement of dangerous school buses today except a desire to keep government growing and increasing taxes. Any bus fire that happens today can be laid at the feet of legislators who are unwilling to prioritize spending. That’s a shame.

        Hey, how about we cut the expense accounts for legislators who get paid to stay in hotels five miles from their home? we could probably replace one bus by cutting that alone. Nah, too logical.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          This is why the mindset of treating government like a business exists (and will continue to exist). If a store owner’s roof was on fire, he wouldn’t be submitting a purchase order to buy new rugs and raising his prices at the same time.

          Basic common sense is rejected when it comes to government spending. Concepts like prioritizing spending, balanced budgets, cutting programs, holding people accountable are not even in the mindset of a legislator. All they think about is “What do I want?” and “How do I get someone else to pay for it without any ability to fight it?”

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Once again, you are completely misunderstanding what it means to be a citizen in a republic. The questions are, “What do we need?” and “What’s the best way we as a society (not “someone else,” much less somebody else’s money) can go about accomplishing it?”

            As for this: “If a store owner’s roof was on fire, he wouldn’t be submitting a purchase order to buy new rugs and raising his prices at the same time.” Neither would the principal of a school. So I don’t get your point…

            Reply
            1. Doug Ross

              Is there money in the state of South Carolina’s coffers now to pay for new school buses today? Yes. Is that money spent on other less essential programs? Yes. Do we as citizens TRULY have a way to get legislators to prioritize spending? No. It’s too difficult to unseat incumbents…

              Bad roads, bad schools, and burning buses are a result of choices, not limitations.

              Reply
  4. Claus2

    Did someone say the Roof Was On Fire??? Well you know what to do… I’d post a YouTube video but it’d get blocked.

    Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        I get it.

        The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.
        We don’t need no water let the m-fer burn…

        It’s a song. An anthem of sorts…

        Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Actually, that was the second result I got. The first time, Google tried to anticipate me and filled it in as “Roof Was on Fire,” and gave me this video instead.

            Pop culture is just SO fragmented today. Do people who listen to one of those songs listen to the other, and vice versa?

            Reply
            1. Norm Ivey

              Trying to think of what the song might be without Google, the only songs I could come up with were Burning Down the House by the Talking Heads and that Harry Chapin song about the hippies living in a building that caught fire and only one fireman was willing to come to their aid. And I was certain by the time I finished typing that, the title would come to me, but alas, it did not.

              Reply
          2. Richard

            Save yourself some time and jump to 3:10. I was at a college basketball game years ago, and I don’t know how but they played this over the loudspeaker during a time out. But… the student section drowned out the speaker system, I think several old people headed for the doors.

            Reply

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