SC State president asks for $13.6M direct payment - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC State president asks for $13.6M direct payment

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP/WIS) - The president of South Carolina State University is asking state lawmakers for about $14 million to pay its bills through June.

President Thomas Elzey told the Budget and Control Board on Wednesday that if lawmakers are unwilling to give the money directly, an alternative solution would be a loan. Elzey says the state's only public historically black university will have a balanced budget next school year.

"We will make payroll until the end of the year," Elzey said. "But to our major vendors, our food service, facilities management, we have been delaying payment. If we don't pay, many are threatening to cut off services."

He said some of the university's outstanding bills date to last October. Unpaid bills include food service and maintenance, and a dozen vendors aren't accepting any more orders.

"I've never contributed to any university outside of the University of South Carolina, but I'd like to give you a personal check for $1,000 to get started," said Sen. John Courson, R-Lexington County.

Elzey says when he became president last June he realized he was walking into a hornet's nest, but he did not realize the depth of the problems.

He says the university's accreditation is in jeopardy

"I think it will get done," said Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland County. "It's now an obligation on the part of the general assembly to do our part. Knowing we can trust the management of the school."

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