After losing $200,000 to Gov. Nikki Haley's veto, supporters of a plan to preserve Mitchelville vowed to try again next year.
Supporters of the Mitchelville Preservation Project said Thursday they intend to ask legislators to funnel money through state agencies rather than an earmark in the state budget.
"There's no question the state investment would pay for itself with the increased tourism that site will bring to the Lowcountry," Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, said.
Attempts Thursday to reach Randy Dolyniuk, chairman of the Mitchelville Preservation Project, were unsuccessful.
"We need to send a clear message now that we have learned from our past of pork-barrel spending," Haley said, according to The (Columbia) State newspaper.
Herbkersman objected Thursday to Haley's characterization of Mitchelville as pork-barrel spending.
"This is a state treasure, not a pet project," he said of the 150-year-old site on Hilton Head Island that was one of the first planned communities in the country for freed slaves. "I think she needed to drill a little bit further and find out what it was."
Herbkersman, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, believes supporters will have better luck next year pursuing the money through the Department of Archives and History or the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. That money would be set aside as part of overall spending by either agency as opposed to a separate item in the state budget, he said.
All of Beaufort County's House members voted to override Haley's veto.
Rep. Andy Patrick, R-Hilton Head, could not be reached for comment Thursday, but has said in the past he opposed Haley's veto and characterization of it as pork.
A two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate is required to override vetoes. Since the House failed to override, a vote in the S.C. Senate was unnecessary.