HEADLINES : South Carolina
SC Senators advance budget with higher pay raises
South Carolina's Senate Finance Committee unanimously advanced late Wednesday a budget that provides higher raises to state workers, pays for long-deferred maintenance at all public colleges, and spends more money on special needs students.
The 2012-13 state spending plan sent to the Senate floor provides 3 percent raises to most state employees, 5 percent raises to state law enforcement officers making less than $50,000, and 2 percent raises to teachers statewide. The plan also covers the rise in employees' health insurance premiums.
The House plan passed in March gave 2 percent raises to most, while providing a waiver for school districts that didn't get enough to provide the raises. The Senate set aside $48 million specifically for teacher raises. While the House gave public universities money for maintenance projects, the Senate also gives money to smaller and technical colleges.
The plan includes $36 million for special needs students to prevent further federal penalties.