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In S.C.: Whether To Say 'It's A Great Day' Is Now A Political Issue

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
Chris Keane
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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has told her Cabinet agencies that all employees should answer their phones with this greeting:

"It's a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?"

But two Democratic members of the state House are sponsoring legislation that would prohibit any agency from ordering its staff to say that unless it truly is a "great day in South Carolina" (according to those legislators).

Rep. John Richard C. King and Rep. Rep. Wendell G. Gilliard say in their bill that the governor's order shouldn't go into effect so long as:

-- "The state's unemployment rate equals or exceeds five percent."

-- "All citizens of this State do not have health insurance."

-- "School funding for grades K-12 and for higher education is not sufficient to ensure that all students are prepared for the twenty-first century."

-- "The rural infrastructure of this State is not adequate to allow rural areas to compete for new business and industry on an equal basis with urban areas of this State."

As for the legislation's prospects: Republicans control both the House and Senate in South Carolina, as well as the governor's mansion. So the two Democrats' initiative isn't likely to go very far.

According to The Associated Press, "a Haley spokesman says the Republican governor stands by the greeting."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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