Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Governor Henry McMaster announced he will veto $20.5 million in funding for school bus purchases and leases.
This was was a part of $56 million that he vetoed in the total budget.
The $7.9 billion budget was approved by state lawmakers last week, after a three week long conference committee hashed out the differences to the House and Senate plans.
A majority of the school bus funding comes from Lottery proceeds from excess ticket sales and unclaimed prizes.
Governor McMaster says the items in the lottery budget are a part of a "wish list" and that money is not guaranteed funding.
"The lottery money should be used only for scholarships for our young people – because that's what voters were promised 17 years ago," says Governor McMaster.
State Superintendent Molly Spearman released a statement in response to the veto:
“By vetoing funding for the purchase of new school buses, the Governor is putting the safety of our students at risk. Our school bus fleet incorporates more than 1500 buses that are over 20 years old and not only are these old buses twice as expensive to operate and maintain, but they are also experiencing structural and mechanical issues. I am deeply disappointed in the decision to veto this essential funding and remain committed to working with the General Assembly to override it and ensure South Carolina’s students have a safe means of transportation to and from school.”
Lawmakers can come back and override the vetoes made by the governor.