Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The House budget-writing committee has advanced a 2012-13 budget that gives employees raises, pays down debt and sets aside money to deepen Charleston's port.
The committee voted Thursday to send to the floor its $6.5 billion state spending plan, as well as a separate measure designating $105 million from a rainy-day fund.
The plan gives most public employees 2 percent raises.
Department of Public Safety officers would get 5 percent.
Committee Chairman Brian White says employees were due a raise after three years without, as many also took on extra duties due to job losses in the recession.
He says the raises will ensure employees don't see a reduction in their paycheck after paying more toward their retirement benefits and for health insurance premiums.
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)