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state budget

  • 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.
  • Major differences with House versionThe big differences in the House and Senate versions of next year’s state budget are setting up a rocky road for final passage of the new budget which goes into effect July 1.
  • Some Republicans in the South Carolina Senate have a little remorse over taking $1 billion out of the state budget to give income taxpayers rebates. The senators took control of the chamber's $12.6 billion budget debate Wednesday. They unsuccessfully pushed to have that money spent instead on road improvements, building rural schools, providing a $1,500 bonus to teachers, a COVID-19 bonus to state employees or other options. Republican Sen. Stephen Goldfinch of Murrells Inlet says the rebate put senators in a box. The House nearly $14 billion budget has no rebate and a $600 million tax cut, while the Senate budget has a $1 billion rebate and $1 billion tax cut.
  • The South Carolina Senate is getting ready to debate its version of the state's $12.6 billion spending plan. The budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year is built around $1 billion in income tax rebates and another $1 billion in cuts, compared with the $600 income million tax cut proposed by the House. That leaves two big differences with the House plan.
  • South Carolina's budget will likely face intense negotiations in the Legislature after Senate budget writers advanced a $12.6 billion plan based on $2 billion in income tax cuts and rebates. The Post and Courier reports lawmakers in the Senate Finance Committee adopted the spending plan unanimously Wednesday. The Senate version doesn't include the $1,500 one-time bonus for state employees suggested in the House version. Senators also want to raise teachers' minimum pay to $38,000, compared with the $40,000 proposed by the House. Spokespeople for Gov. Henry McMaster and the Palmetto State Teachers Association say the Senate's teacher pay proposals aren't high enough.
  • The State House of Representatives this week approved a new $14 Billion spending package. The new budget proposal now goes to the Senate.With over $4 Billion of additional money to spend, House members approved teacher and state employee pay raises, millions of dollars for interstate highway improvements, and $600 Million to pay for a phased-in reduction of personal income taxes.Aside from proposed personal income tax cuts, the greatest beneficiary of the flush budget is the state’s public school system.
  • The South Carolina House approved the state's $14 billion budget in one day with little debate over big ticket items. The House voted 108-7 late Monday to give the budget key approval. They plan to return to the chamber for routine final approval Tuesday morning, sending it on to the Senate. There was only about three hours of debate, almost on all items voted down like stricter abortion rules or not paying for a state health card that some worried could be used as a COVID-19 vaccine passport. The budget provides $1 billion for roads and raises for all state employees and most teachers and state law enforcement officers.