Reviewing state budget wins and losses - - Columbia, South Carolina

Reviewing state budget wins and losses


From roads, to education, this year's budget will have quite a noticeable and immediate impact on the average South Carolinian. 

A large chunk of this years budget will go towards improving South Carolina's roads and bridges.

"They're in horrendous shape, they're a safety hazard," said 26th District Senator Nikki Setzler. "They're also a detriment to economic development in this state."

The bipartisan road repair effort means South Carolina roads will get roughly $1 billion in the next 10 years, most of which is being bonded from the State Infrastructure Bank.

"We showed the country today that you can improve your infrastructure and you don't have to raise taxes to do it," said Governor Nikki Haley.

Haley also put her support behind a plan to expand 4-year-old kindergarten into impoverished areas, a plan heralded by her Democratic rival, Kershaw County Senator Vincent Sheheen.

"This expands it to 17 more school districts, potentially up to 8,000 more students could benefit from this," said Senate Democratic Caucus Director Phil Bailey.

Funding for a new University of Charleston computer science lab, and Clemson University plant technology lab also found a place in the budget, weighing in at more than $3 million.

"That's for economic development," said 116th District Representative Robert Brown. "Giving the students opportunities to get higher paying jobs. Jobs to match the jobs produced by Boeing, Google and other high tech areas"

Lawmakers also funded marine studies along the coast with close to half a million dollars.

"Anglers and outdoorsmen spend $1.5 billion dollars a year in our state hunting and fishing," said 14th District Representative Michael Pitts.

As for next year, it seems the governor plans to shift her focus towards K-12 education reform.

All together, lawmakers overrode 46 of the governor's 81 vetoes. The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

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