COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Lawmakers in South Carolina will have a little extra money to work with in next year's budget.
According to the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors, lawmakers will have a record amount of new income in the budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21. They said this is all thanks to a growing economy and large surpluses.
According to a release from the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, they anticipate there will be an extra $1.8 billion in the General Fund.
This year, lawmakers decided to send some of the surplus money back to the taxpayer with a $50 rebate. This could happen again with some of the extra money, lawmakers said.
There are calls to raise salaries for teachers, repair aging public buildings and improve funding for prisons with the extra money.
One group that is hoping to see a share of that money are state employees. In 2019, state employees received a 2% raise and a $600 bonus for employees making less than $70,000 a year.
Carlton Washington is the Executive Director of the South Carolina State Employee Association. He said another raise for state employees will help recruit and retain workers to fill the vacancies at various state agencies.
“Employee pay is a critical issue that hasn’t gotten the issue it needs. Many legislators have been waiting for an opportunity like this to address this in a meaningful way,” he said.