Lawmakers approve surplus raises for teachers, state workers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The COVID-19 economic downturn wasn’t as bad as feared in South Carolina, so lawmakers suddenly have a lot more money to spend.

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday set aside money for a 2% raise for state employees and a $1,000 raise for all teachers as the panel approved its version of the roughly $10 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts on July 1.

South Carolina lawmakers have nearly $1.7 billion extra to spend in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Senators on the Finance Committee were given a three-page typed list of more than 65 new items where the extra money could go.

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