The Buzz

November 18, 2013

STATE HOUSE: Lawmakers have $440 million to play with (updated)

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

State lawmakers will have an extra $440.5 million to spend in next year's budget, according to the state Board of Economic Advisors.

The new money is a mix of $92.7 million in one-time money and $347.8 million in recurring money. Altogether, the board predicted the state will have $7,193,909,133 to spend in next year's budget.

How should they spend it? State agencies have more than a few ideas. Combined, they have submitted more than $1.2 billion in new spending requests.

We know place it won't be going -- higher education (that is, if House Ways and Means chairman Brian White gets his way ).

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley will unveil her executive budget sometime around the first of the year.

And the $7.2 billion number is just state tax dollars. It does not include money from the federal government and "other funds" such as fines and fees -- sources that account for about two-thirds of all state spending.

UPDATE: The governor's office says Monday's revenue forecast is "a clear indication that South Carolina’s economy continues to recover and grow stronger under Governor Haley's leadership" and that Haley plans to announce her budget at "the beginning of the year."

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