COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -Gov. Nikki Haley had someone from each of the state’s 2015 tragedies in the audience.
There was the family of Walter Scott, the unarmed black motorist killed by a white officer now charged with murder in an April traffic stop in North Charleston.
Haley told her he appreciated their graciousness in a time of unimaginable sorrow and their call for calm after Scott’s death.
Haley also acknowledged the widow of Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor killed along with eight others at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Jennifer Pinckney was among three people in the prayer study who survived.
The governor also thanked South Carolina National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, state Emergency Management Director Kim Stenson and interim Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall for helping the state through the massive floods in October.
Lawmakers were split on Gov. Nikki Haley’s surprise poll about which senators supported her ethics reform proposals at her State of the State address.
Pickens Republican Sen. Larry Martin was one of about a dozen senators who followed Haley’s request Wednesday to stand if they supported her ethics proposals.
Martin has pushed for Haley’s ideas, which include calls for greater disclosure of who pays lawmakers and for independent ethics investigations.
Senate President Hugh Leatherman laughed when asked about the governor’s actions, but told reporters they need to ask Haley if it was appropriate.
Columbia Democratic Rep. Todd Rutherford called it juvenile since senators didn’t have a chance to respond.
The House has passed Haley’s ethics proposals.
Democrats say if South Carolinians really want to improve their state, they need to stop voting for Republicans.
Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell of Lancaster gave the Democratic response Wednesday to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s State of the State address.
Powers Norrell says Haley has not made education funding a priority in her five years in office.
Powers Norrell says the governor is willing to give millions of dollars of incentives to out-of-state corporations for local plants but refused to ask for extra money to help farmers devastated by October’s floods.
She also said Democrats would have sent the governor a road funding bill in days.
Powers Norrell also says South Carolina is a much less healthy state because Haley and Republicans have refused to take federal money to expand Medicaid.