Leatherman: Panel is SC State's best hope

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman says South Carolina State University's best chance of survival comes from a panel of current and former college presidents he put together.

The Senate approved Thursday adding a clause in the state budget that directs the five-member panel to work with SC State officials in developing a plan to stabilize the school.

The state's only public historically black university is in a financial hole. Officials wanted a nearly $14 million grant to cover its bills through the end of June. Last week, the Budget and Control Board approved a $6 million loan to pay its oldest unpaid bills. How the school will pay it back is unknown.

Leatherman voted against the loan, saying it doesn't solve anything. He called it a Band-Aid at most.

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