By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina legislative panel has approved a budget compromise that begins shoring up the state pension system, spends $55 million to upgrade K-12 schools, and provides $68 million for Hurricane Matthew cleanup costs.
The agreement reached late Wednesday on a roughly $8 billion spending plan for state taxes ends weeks of negotiation.
The Legislature is expected to return for a special session next week to approve the compromise.
Grants to help repair dilapidated schools in high-poverty districts will come three years after the state Supreme Court ordered legislators to improve opportunities for students in poor, rural districts.
The plan puts $150 million into shoring up the state pension system for public workers, following a law passed last month that increases employers' rates for the next six years.
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