State Budget Debate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – It’s budget week in the South Carolina House.
Debate opened Monday on the Ways and Means Committee’s roughly $8 billion spending plan for state taxes.
It includes $150 million to begin shoring up the state’s pension system for public workers and $82 million to cover Hurricane Matthew cleanup costs.
The budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 includes $25 million to cover state employees’ rising health insurance premiums.
It puts $100 million toward upgrading deteriorating K-12 schools. That proposal comes three years after the state Supreme Court ordered legislators to improve opportunities for students in poor, rural districts.
Districts eligible for that money include those that initially sued the state in 1993 and any other district where at least 80 percent of students live in poverty.