Ways and Means advances its SC spending plan

      By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The House budget-writing committee has advanced a $7 billion spending plan for state taxes that provides more money for public schools, hires more law enforcement officers and pays for the next round of cyber-security measures.

      The Ways and Means Committee voted 20-1 to send its budget plan to the full House. It includes a separate bill that spends $117 million from this year's rainy day fund.

      The proposal provides state employees a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise. The measure continues Medicaid agency initiatives aimed at helping the state's most frequent emergency room visitors live healthier.

      It puts more than $37 million in a Commerce fund used to help close economic development deals.

      It also adds 31 people at the State Law Enforcement Division and several prosecutors at the attorney general's office.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.