Greenville News: Haley’s ‘Have a Great Day’ Mandate Irks Some Lawmakers
I will freely admit that the “Have A Great Day” Mandate, enacted back in September, is pretty gosh-darned goofy on its face. However, the response from a pair of Democrat legislators here in South Carolina is downright ludicrous. From the Greenville News:
Gov. Nikki Haley’s mandate that state agency employees under her control answer the phone with a cheery, “It’s a great day in South Carolina! How may I help you?” is rubbing a pair of Democratic lawmakers the wrong way.
They felt so strongly about it they prefiled a bill that would make it a crime to use the Republican governor’s script, “or another similar greeting connoting the advantages of or a general pleasant demeanor in this state” as long as:
- The state’s unemployment rate is 5 percent or higher.
- All citizens of the state don’t have health insurance.
- School funding “is not sufficient to ensure that all students are prepared for the 21st century.”
- The infrastructure of rural parts of the state is so lacking that they can’t compete with urban areas for business and industry.
“It’s insulting when we have to call agencies in this state and hear them say ‘it’s a great day’ when we are suffering here at home,” said state Rep. John Richard King of Rock Hill, one of the authors of the bill. “And you have a governor who has no heart for the people here in South Carolina, who is worried about other things other than the people who she’s supposed to represent.”
First, in case State Representatives Wendell Gilliard and John Richard King haven’t noticed, the current economic doldrums aren’t exactly limited to the Palmetto State. While the national unemployment rate here is notably higher than the 8.6 percent unemployment nationwide, it should be noted that the problems with economic and job growth here are indicative of a greater problem in all of Barack Obama’s fifty-seven states. In fact, since taking office, Gov. Haley has brought approximately 20,000 jobs to South Carolina.
Second, it IS a great day in South Carolina. It’s ALWAYS a great day in the Palmetto State. Every morning, I awake in picturesque historic Summerville and drive to stunningly beautiful downtown Charleston for work. I park my car alongside Charleston Harbor, and each day stare across the water toward Sullivan’s Island, Fort Sumter and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. I get to live and work in a place where beautiful photographs can be taken on an everyday walk from office to courthouse.
My wife and I haven’t exactly struck it rich since we moved to South Carolina from Pennsylvania. In fact, while things are starting to look up, 2011 was a pretty rough year. If we were to measure how “great” our days are, however, living in the Palmetto State provides so many benefits that simply cannot be measured by the thickness of our wallets or contents of our checking account. The people are wonderful. The weather is beautiful. The food is incredible. The pace of life is desirable. Every single day here in the Lowcountry, I see something or hear something or taste something that reinforces the unquestionable fact that the move from Keystone State to Palmetto State was the best possible thing we could have done.
If Mr. Gilliard and Mr. King are so downright miserable here that they cannot see past the adverse economic conditions that are unique to no state in our union, perhaps the pair would be happier up in Philadelphia, where I came from. Certainly, the political climate would make them feel more than welcome.
In the meantime, I’m going to continue having great days here in South Carolina. And I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that other, more quantifiable circumstances are changed for the better in months and years to come — starting with voting people like Wendell Gilliard and John Richard King out of office.