Sanford announces budget vetoes

Governor Sanford addressing the media about vetoes.

Columbia (AP, WACH) -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford released his vetoes on the Legislature's state budget.

Wednesday afternoon, Sanford vetoed 107 line-items and provisos totalling more than $300 million from the nearly $5 billion state general budget.

The vetoes included the entire section that depends on unreliable federal Medicaid money.

Sanford says the cuts are a prepartion for next year's "Financial tsunami."

"Yet I believe that in this approaching financial crisis there lies opportunity," Sanford says. "So while the current budget represents an indeed devastating reality for state agencies and those most served by government, there is also a unique opportunity to reorder our state's budget priorities and restructure government, if we adhere to three basic principles."

The Senate gave final approval to the budget compromise last week with only minutes to spare in the regular session. The fiscal year begins July 1.

House Democrats voted against the budget, saying it shirked state obligations for basic health and education needs.

House Republican leaders say budget writers had no choice but to reduce spending because there was no support for tax increases.

The budget takes state spending for teacher pay and other education basics to 1995 levels. School district officials expect to cut up to 3,800 jobs, including up to 2,500 teachers.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)