SC House passes 2013-14 budget compromise

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - The House barely passed a legislative compromise on how to spend $6.7 billion in state taxes.

The chamber voted 54-52 Wednesday on the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Whether the state has a budget by then could depend on the Senate, where debate on the spending proposal continued.

Only one House Democrat voted for the plan. Democrats protested three major issues: tax credits for private school tuition, Republicans' refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility under the federal health care law, and the lack of a cost-of-living increase for state employees.

Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler told his colleagues he disagrees with aspects, too. But he says he supports the budget overall, pointing out it expands full-day 4-year-old kindergarten and provides money to fix roads and bridges.

According to District 119 Representative Leon Stavrinakis, the budget will:

  • Add $77 million in new funds to public schools
  • Repair or replace 9 deficient bridges in Charleston County
  • Renourish Folly Beach
  • Hold state employees harmless for health care cost increases
  • Add $22 million for new school buses
  • Cover cyber security losses
  • Add 24 million for public K-12 instructional material
  • Add $30 million for local governments
  • Add $48 million for new law enforcement officers
  • Expand 4K program into 17 new school districts
  • Boost spending on road repairs statewide