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state budget

  • Flush with extra money to spend, South Carolina's House and Senate still haven't reached a deal on the state's $13 billion spending plan set to start July 1. While no one is talking publicly about what is causing the delay, an obvious sign of problems came Wednesday, when House Speaker Murrell Smith presided over a nearly empty House chamber. Members were supposed to meet for a session to approve the compromise.
  • South Carolina has a new top accountant after a 20-year officeholder resigned amid pressure over a $3.5 billion reporting error. Brian Gaines is now the state comptroller general and will oversee an office that has received mounting scrutiny from lawmakers who want to dismantle its responsibilities. The shakeup comes after former Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom revealed the state's Annual Comprehensive Financial Report had exaggerated cash balances by double counting the money sent to colleges and universities.
  • The South Carolina Senate has unanimously approved its version of the state's $13 billion spending plan in an unusually short debate lacking the typical back-and-forth the upper chamber usually has over the budget. The plan raises the salary of nearly every state employee and will build South Carolina's first veterinary school at Clemson University. It will build a state juvenile jail, freeze in-state tuition at colleges and universities and help rural districts build schools.
  • March 18, 2023 — A recap of this week's sometimes contentious debates in the state House of Representatives regarding their state budget proposal and an incentive package for Scout Motors.
  • The debate in the South Carolina House over the state's $13.8 billion spending plan for next fiscal year didn't go as smoothly as previous years. But the conflict wasn't over how much of a raise to give state employees or teachers or how much to spend on roads and bridges. Instead, this week's fight on the 2023-24 budget is between groups of Republicans over social issues more tangential to the budget. On one side are a group of anywhere from 12 to 20 of the chamber's most conservative Republicans who call themselves the Freedom Caucus. They are taking on mainstream Republicans.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster wants to increase 2022's record amount of capital investment and offset shortages across workforces like education and law enforcement. That's according to the governor's budget request released Friday. The proposal is just a first step. Lawmakers will now begin writing and approving a spending plan when the General Assembly reconvenes next week.
  • The South Carolina General Assembly has overturned many of Gov. Henry McMasters budget vetoes. But they did agree with the biggest one, taking $25 million out of the $13.8 billion spending plan to try to help bring a super computer to Columbia. The money was set aside for what supporters called a quantum computing operation and set up a nonprofit to rent time on the machine to researchers and others. Both the House and Senate continued Tuesday afternoon to consider the 73 vetoes issued by the governor, taking about $53 million from from the nearly $14 billion budget set to start July 1.
  • State lawmakers finalized next year’s record setting state budget this week. The spending plan now goes to the Governor.
  • Several powerful House and Senate lawmakers recently met for about 10 minutes to talk about South Carolina's budget without reaching an agreement on the main sticking points. Each side praised the other Tuesday. Staff members read off a list of dozens of smaller issues where both sides agree and the conference committee of four Republicans and two Democrats adjourned to meet at some undetermined time. They did not discuss the $1 billion rebate senators want to send back to taxpayers which the House didn't have in its plan. The clock is ticking to approve the nearly $13 billion budget. Both chambers are set to come back June 15 for a special session to vote on the budget compromise.
  • The South Carolina lawmakers negotiating big gaps between the House and Senate versions of the state budget have received a big gift as the state's economy continued to do better than predicted. Economists meeting Tuesday predicted that South Carolina can now expect to have about $950 million more in its bank accounts by the end of June from taxes and other revenue. The House and Senate are about $1.3 billion apart on their budget plans with the biggest difference a $1 billion rebate senators want to send back to taxpayers.