SC House Democrats try to give employees a bonus

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Efforts by House Democrats to give South Carolina’s public employees a one-time bonus in November have failed.

The House defeated the amendment 57-37 Wednesday.

The bonus would have been in addition to 2 percent raises proposed in the Ways and Means’ budget plan.

House Minority Leader Harry Ott said public workers deserve a raise after three years without. He proposed giving a 1 percent bonus for workers making less than $50,000, and $500 to those earning more.

Democrats say the 2 percent raises would be gobbled up by increases in health care and retirement contributions.

Ott’s amendment would have shifted $37.5 million from a state savings account. The Ways and Means’ plan puts an additional $60 million in the account than state law requires.

Republicans contend the economy remains uncertain.

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