The House Ways and Means Committee has finished their work on this year’s budget proposal and very soon each House Member will receive the detailed report on our desk to review.

From The State, John O’Connor
South Carolina will balance its budget by cutting state agencies’ funding and borrowing from savings accounts, according to a draft House budget released Wednesday.

It means state employees could get smaller raises and state colleges could get less money.

The $7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1 would trim most agencies by 2.5 percent. The House plan would cut $61 million when reducing costs for travel and information technology are included.

The cuts were necessary, House leaders said, because state revenue growth has flattened over the past year.

But to pay for new spending — $375 million total — the House would borrow more than $200 million from state savings accounts for health care, insurance, nuclear waste disposal and others.

“We set up (savings) years before to try and manage the downturns,” said Rep. Dan Cooper, R-Anderson, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee.

To quickly summarize what we will see in total…..the Committee is proposing a 4.5% decrease in overall spending from last year.

As usual, I expect several amendments from the House floor during the week as well as several long hours of debate. The full House will take up the budget beginning at 10:30 on Monday, March 11 and continue throughout the week – often staying past 9pm each evening.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a copy of the House proposal on line before then for y’all to see at home (if you’re interested).