Haley nominates DSS leader, committee confirms 2 previous picks

Haley chose Bobby Hitt, a former newspaper editor and BMW Manufacturing executive, to lead Commerce.

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Governor Nikki Haley announced her latest pick to lead the Department of Social Services Thursday afternoon.

In her eighth Cabinet nomination, Haley introduced 55-year-old Lillian Koller.

Koller, Hawaii's former Department of Human Services Director, stood at the State House during the announcement with her 13-year-old daughter.

"There are opportunities that are being overlooked I am confident of that," says Koller, "and we will succeed in balancing the budget."

The nominee her first order of business will be addressing DSS finances. The agency is asking to run a $29 million deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30.

"What I want the legislature to understand is that this didn't happen by accident, this is a result of things that happened in past years," says Haley, "but it doesn't have to happen going forward if we are smart in how we act."

DSS oversees children's welfare.

Koller will have to be approved by the state Senate.

Meanwhile Thursday, the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee voted 12-0 to approve former newspaper editor and BMW Manufacturing executive Bobby Hitt to lead the state's Commerce Department.

The same panel also unanimously approved Catherine Templeton to direct the state Labor, Licensing and Regulation Department. Templeton is a labor management lawyer who Haley says will help fight unionization efforts at Boeing's new North Charleston plant.

Both nominations now move to the state Senate floor for consideration.

Haley is set to make another Cabinet announcement Friday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)