SC Legislature passes 2013-14 budget compromise

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Legislature has passed a compromise on how to spend $6.7 billion in state taxes.

The plan squeaked by the House with a 54-52 vote Wednesday. The Senate then voted 39-5 for the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Only two House Democrats voted for the plan. Democrats protested three major issues: tax credits for private school tuition, Republicans' refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility, and no cost-of-living increase for state employees.

Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler said he disagrees with aspects, too. But he encouraged passage, pointing out it expands full-day 4-year-old kindergarten and provides money to fix roads and bridges.

The $6.7 billion spending plan includes $106 million from this year's rainy day fund. Both chambers also passed a separate bill designating that money.

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