S.C. State gets longer to pay off state loan
S.C. State University, still wrestling with a deficit that has passed $20 million, received a lifeline Tuesday when state political leaders agreed to extend repayment of a $6 million loan for five years.
The loan, granted by the S.C. Budget and Control Board last year, was due June 30. The board, led by Gov. Nikki Haley, gave the 119-year-old school until 2020 to repay the state. The first payment of more than $350,000 is due in a year.
The loan extension is the latest good news for S.C. State.
The school’s accreditors decided Thursday to give South Carolina’s only historically black public college another year to fix its finances rather than pull the seal of approval needed for students to get federal financial aid.
Meanwhile, S.C. State is set to receive $3 million from a $12 million fund that legislators approved to aid it last year. The state budget could bring another $4 million to the Orangeburg college.
S.C. State has struggled to pay bills after failing for years to reduce its budget as its enrollment shrank. S.C. State’s deficit is scheduled to grow to $23.5 million by the end of the month, according to a state-ordered audit.
S.C. State’s leadership has undergone a complete makeover in the past three months with a new president and a new board.
No deal on 20-week abortion ban
A panel of S.C. lawmakers will try to iron out differences in a pair of bills that would ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later.
The House and Senate passed two different versions of the abortion ban proposal this year. The House bill allows exceptions only if the mother’s life is threatened or her health could be severely impacted.
The Senate bill also included exceptions for rape, incest and severe fetal anomalies that would prevent the child from living after birth.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Greg Delleney, R-Chester, said abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy – when, he says, a child might feel pain and might be able to survive a premature birth – is equal to “infanticide” and “partial-birth abortion.”
House Republicans who support the legislation likely would be open to allowing an exception for a severe fetal anomalies, if lawmakers can agree on how to define that medical condition, Delleney said.
State Sens. Ray Cleary, R-Georgetown, and Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, said the Senate might be open to narrowing the exceptions to exclude rape and incest as a compromise with the House.
The panel took no votes and will meet again.
Any compromise on the bill needs House and Senate approval by Thursday to become law.
Andrew Shain, Jamie Self