South Carolina legislators writing state budget

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina legislators writing the state budget are expected to debate teacher salaries and raises for other public employees.

The House Ways and Means Committee will continue its work Wednesday on the spending plan for the coming year.

Democrats want to give public employees their first raise in four years, following years of furloughs that reduced take-home pay. They also want to increase the so-called base student cost, now at nearly $1,900 per student.

Many Republicans agree that the key education funding source should increase, but say restoring it to pre-recession levels is impossible. That money primarily pays for teacher salaries.

Gov. Nikki Haley's budget proposal would cut that per-student spending to less than $1,800.

Legislators will also likely debate how much to set aside for deepening the Charleston harbor.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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