SC House Passes State Budget After All-Night Session
The House of Representatives approved a $5 billion budget for 2010-2011.
By Lacey Lee
Posted March 18, 2010 10:26 AM
The South Carolina House approved a $5 billion state budget for 2010-2011 after an all-night session spent arguing over major cuts and new taxes. The budget, for the fiscal year starting in July, passed 64-52 and now goes to the Senate.
The members debated whether to cut paying for abortions for hours. The final budget bans using state funds for almost all abortions except to save a mother's life providing that the doctor also tries to save the baby's life.
The budget also raises cigarette taxes in South Carolina from 7 cents to 37 cents-per-pack. The income from the tax is being earmarked for the state's Medicaid program.
The budget also provides a possible $10 million loan for Hilton Head Island's Heritage golf tournament to be used if organizers can't find a primary sponsor. The tournament is a PGA tournament and attracts many tourists.
The new budget is almost $2 billion less than South Carolina's $7 billion state spending program in two years ago.
Some cuts in the budget were made in programs that helped treat HIV and AIDS patients and the mentally ill. This will put the burden on the families and communities of those needing treatment.
The budget also allows furloughs of state employees to handle the cuts. Layoffs are expected in state agencies.