Politics & Government

Heading into holiday weekend, still no SC budget deal

tglantz@thestate.com

S.C. budget negotiators had not reached a budget deal heading into Memorial Day weekend.

Lawmakers have until July 1 to decide how to spend roughly $8 billion in general fund money.

A panel of three House members and three senators, tasked with ironing out differences between the two chambers’ versions of the state budget, was still negotiating behind the scenes late Thursday and had not reconvened.

The S.C. House tentatively plans to return to Columbia on June 6 to give final approval to the budget.

Key differences in the two proposals include how to spend money to shore up the state’s ailing pension system and whether to spend more on S.C. colleges.

The state Senate passed a continuing budget resolution earlier this week that would keep state government operating at current spending levels if a deal is not reached by July 1, when the state’s new fiscal year starts.

Legislative budget negotiators are also weighing whether to let ETV spend all of the $43.2 million in proceeds from a sale of airwave space to the Federal Communications Commission or to let the public broadcaster keep only $35 million with the difference going to S.C. schools and to pay for school buses.

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