Haley discusses economy, education reform in Charleston - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Haley discusses economy, education reform in Charleston

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Gov. Nikki Haley came to Charleston Tuesday to talk about policies and issues as she gears up for another run for office. She spent the day talking to a group of business officials about the past, present, and future of South Carolina.

It wasn't an official campaign stop, but Haley spent time with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. As her race for re-election continues, she was invited to talk with local business leaders about the state of the state.

"We have a five year unemployment low, seeing that we have the fastest growing economy in the East Coast, the fact that we have a new education reform plan. We've passed tort reform, pension reform.  I mean, life is good in South Carolina. But it's only getting better," she said.

Haley will face Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in this year's campaign for governor.

While the gloves haven't come off yet in their fight, Haley explained to Chamber members her three key issues: education, ethics reform, and funding road repairs.

"Infrastructure will continue to be a priority. Whether it's roads, bridges, port air, we are going to keep infrastructure going forward.  But we don't need to be so quick to raise taxes. The money is there," Haley said.

She referenced the plan to raise South Carolina's gas tax, currently the lowest in the Southeast. She's against the idea.

"There's always going to be people who want to raise a tax for the sake of raising a tax. What I will tell you is we've put $300 million into ports and we've did it without raising taxes," she said.

At this point, Chamber members haven't endorsed either candidate for governor, but their interest is piqued because of what they say are successes during Haley's tenure.

"One of the reasons we were excited to have the governor is South Carolina is number one in the country with foreign direct investment. And a lot of that direct investment is occurring in our region," said Bryan Derreberry, the president and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber.

That means the region will soon be a battleground for votes by both candidates.

Haley said she will spend Friday talking with state leaders on how last week's winter storm was handled. The opening and closing of the Ravenel Bridge will be part of that discussion. The governor also addressed the new restaurant carry bill, saying it will be signed as soon as it is ratified by the Legislature. 

  • Bill Burr

    Email: bburr@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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