S.C. House and Senate negotiators appeared no closer to a budget deal Tuesday than last week, when they said a compromise had not yet been reached.
Budget negotiators met formally for only about five minutes Tuesday and, then, adjourned.
Meanwhile, the state Senate passed a continuing budget resolution Tuesday that would fund state government at current levels if a deal is not reached by July 1.
The S.C. House, which did not consider any business Tuesday, would have to convene again in Columbia to consider that stopgap measure.
Lawmakers have roughly five weeks to reach a deal before the July 1 start of the state’s new fiscal year.
Differences in the House and Senate budget proposals include how to spend money to shore up the state’s ailing pension system and whether to spend more on S.C. colleges.
House Ways and Means chairman Brian White, R-Anderson, said during Tuesday’s meeting that budget negotiators were “fairly close" to a deal and will meet again.
When a budget compromise is reached, the full S.C. House and Senate will return to Columbia to vote on it.
In their budget plans, the House and Senate propose spending different amounts on S.C. schools and colleges.
Higher education: The Senate approved $16 million in added money for S.C. colleges, including $2.4 million for the University of South Carolina. The House did not budget any added money for colleges.
School buses: The House approved spending an added $31 million on new school buses. The Senate approved an added $17 million.