Senate's budget includes $24 million to expand 4K - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Senate's budget includes $24 million to expand 4K

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Senators added $24 million to expand 4-year-old kindergarten to 65 eligible districts around the state. To pay for that, local governments lost $16 million and that could mean higher taxes for you.

"If that money isn't budgeted, you'll see millages increase and you'll see local property taxes go up," said Tim Winslow with the South Carolina Association of Counties.

But when it comes to law enforcement, senators want to increase funding and staffing levels for the State Law Enforcement Division to pre-recession levels

"We're adding 30 new positions at SLED, 10 highway troopers on the road. This is an agency that saw its work force shrink dramatically during the recession," said Sen. Joel Lourie (D-Richland/Kershaw).

Senators also want to invest $30 million in higher education, which includes funding for 33  educational institutions as well as technical colleges.

"Before the Great Recession, there were 171,000 enrolled, that figure is now 208,000, but the appropriations have gone down and we're trying to get it back up in the Senate," said Sen. John Courson (R-Lexington/Richland).

Senators will now spend the next week or more debating the budget they've crafted. It will make several stops before reaching the governor's desk, including returning to the House and then going into a conference committee with lawmakers from both chambers.

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