Home » South Carolina Senate to weigh House-approved $13.2 billion budget

South Carolina Senate to weigh House-approved $13.2 billion budget

by John Jefferson
0 comment

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s $13.2 billion budget made it through the House largely unchanged as Republican leaders reigned in efforts to shift spending priorities to other places.

The House gave the 2024-25 fiscal year budget approval Wednesday to cheers and proclamations that the budget staff get the rest of the week off.

BOEING WHISTLEBLOWER’S LAWYERS DEMAND FULL INVESTIGATION INTO MYSTERIOUS DEATH MID-DEPOSITION

It now moves over to the Senate. The Finance Committee and the floor will give it heavy scrutiny on into April. Last year, the House and Senate spending plans appeared to basically be in harmony before a three-week standoff over roughly $100 million to start a veterinary school at Clemson University.

House Ways and Means Chairman Bruce Bannister said he figures the Senate will have some differences this year too, but he’s not willing to predict where.

“We will have a conference committee. I suspect it will be as intense as it was last year,” the Republican from Greenville said after Wednesday’s final vote.

The House plan includes raises for teachers and state employees, $500 million in property tax relief, $200 million for bridges and $100 million to continue long-term income tax cuts.

The Freedom Caucus, made up of about 16 or so of the House’s most conservative members, offered a number of proposals that failed. The group wanted to redirect money meant for things like the South Carolina Commission of the Arts, business incentives and university tuition freezes and put it toward raises for county deputies, roads, foster care programs or other items they called “core functions of government.

Their amendments drew fewer than 20 supporters in the 124-member chamber.

Republican leaders said many of the amendments were shortsighted — like giving county deputies a raise while not giving officers in cities a similar pay bump — and ignored what is needed to be done to keep South Carolina growing and thriving.

“Core functions of government — infrastructure, education, law enforcement, taking care of taxpayers, cutting taxes — all of those things are in this budget,” Bannister said.

Speaker Murrell Smith said the final 104-15 vote shows the House needs to work together instead of argue.

“It’s time for us to come together and put down the politics and concentrate on policy,” said Smith, a Republican from Sumter.

House budget writers had less to spend than last year, in part thanks to the end of pandemic relief, and couldn’t pay for more than half the things requested by state agencies.

But the booming state still saw an increase in tax revenue and added some big ticket items.

Along with bridge funding and property tax and income tax relief, the House budget puts $200 million toward raising teacher pay. Every teacher would get a raise and the minimum salary for a starting teacher would be increased to $47,000 a year. The budget also would allow teachers to get a yearly raise for each of their first 28 years instead of their first 23.

All state employees would get raises, too. Those making less than $66,666 would get a flat $1,000 raise, while those who earn that amount or more would get a 1.5% pay bump. The state also would pay $107 million to cover the increase in health insurance premiums for workers.

Read the full article here

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Our Company

True Battle is your one-stop website for the latest politics news from the US and the World, follow us now to get the news that matters to you.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest political news, articles & new reports. Let's stay updated!

Laest News

© Copyright 2023 – All Right Reserved

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy