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Miller attacks Goldfinch on millage, reimbursement allowance

  • Friday, July 11, 2014

The General Election is four months away, but Vida Miller is already on the attack.

Miller, a Democrat trying to regain the House District 108 seat she once held, criticized the incumbent, Republican Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, for voting for a $12,000 reimbursement allowance for legislators, but voting against a bill that would allow the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District to raise its millage cap from 10 to 14 mills.

Miller calls the reimbursement allowance a pay raise. Goldfinch does not consider it a pay raise.

“How, in good conscience, could Rep. Goldfinch play politics with the fire safety of residents, businesses and firefighters in this district less than a year after the massive Georgetown fire that destroyed the heart of our Boardwalk area?”

Miller said. “And why, after doing just that, would he think he deserved a pay raise?”

Goldfinch has consistently said he considers the millage increase to be a tax hike.

When he was running for office he signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising to oppose all tax increases.

However, this week Goldfinch announced that he would support the millage increase if the Marsh Walk Association would stop its Monday night fireworks displays.

Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed the bill that would allow the $12,000 reimbursement allowance.

“The House just reconsidered [the pay raise veto] and voted themselves a pay raise,” Haley said. “Those who voted [yes] or didn’t vote at all ... supported raising their own pay.”

Goldfinch then voted to override the veto.

Miller also voted for a pay increase while she represented the district, but on a smaller scale.

“I understand that it’s sometimes necessary to give legislators a small cost-of-living adjustment. In fact, some years ago, I voted for a $208-a-year cost-of-living increase, which was identical to the 2 percent increase all state employees were set to receive at the time,” Miller said.

“But it would never have occurred to me to support a $12,000-a-year pay raise, especially at a time when so many of our fellow South Carolinians are still struggling to recover from the economic collapse of 2008.”

Miller said Goldfinch is not listening to the people of the community.

“What we do in Columbia is awfully important, but we must not ignore what goes on in [our] community. You’re a representative of your community. That’s what we’re sent to Columbia to do. Represent the people back home.”

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