SC lawmakers meet to resolve budget differences

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A committee of South Carolina lawmakers has finished its first day of trying to iron out differences between House and Senate versions of the state's $6.3 billion budget, but they deferred decisions on most of the big money issues.

They did agree Friday that the state Transportation Department should get local approval before cutting down trees along miles of Interstate 26 in the Lowcountry. They also agreed school activity buses could have advertisements but killed a budget proviso to keep junk food out of the Governor's Mansion.

The big issues, including spending for 4-year-old kindergarten, school buses, infrastructure and state employee pay raises will wait. The panel meets again next Friday.

Lawmakers return to Columbia June 18 to consider the revised budget.

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