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Budget Update

Current as of April 30, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

The S.C. Senate has taken an important step in the long process necessary to bring federal stimulus funds to S.C. higher education and K-12 for the next academic year, as intended by the U.S. Congress.

By a vote of 34-10, the Senate approved a key amendment by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman, establishing that “it is the intent of the General Assembly to accept the stimulus funds” and “authorize expenditure” of them “as delineated in this act.”  The full Senate then adopted by a vote of 31-12 a budget recommendation allocating the funds to education. Because so many of you have expressed interest in this issue, I am pasting the roll calls on those key votes below this message.

Next steps in the process are as follows:

  • The measure now goes back to the House, where members will consider accepting the key Leatherman amendment, and come up with its plan of allocating both state funds and any federal funds received.
  • Once each chamber has finalized its version of the budget, the two bodies will work out their differences in a conference committee and complete legislative consideration.
  • The entire appropriations measure then will be reviewed by Governor Sanford, who can veto specific parts or all of it. The General Assembly will have to override any such vetoes related to the stimulus funds. 
  • Even after that point, a court challenge may continue to keep South Carolina’s access to the portion of stimulus funds for education an open question for a while longer. 

It is important to keep in mind that stimulus funds will not completely restore the deep cuts in state funding for higher education that have been made this year and continue next year under the budget plan adopted last night. Likewise, continuing downturns in state revenue could prompt additional state reductions, both this fiscal year and next fiscal year.

As noted previously, we will continue to provide updates on this process via e-mail and web postings, so that the campus community can keep up with developments even after Commencement next week.  Meanwhile, continuing thanks for all you are doing to bring this academic year to a successful conclusion for our community of learners.

Sincerely,

Tony DiGiorgio

On Key Leatherman Amendment:

Ayes 34; Nays 10

 

AYES

Alexander
Cleary
Cromer
Ford
Jackson
Leatherman
Malloy
Massey
McGill
Peeler
Setzler
Williams

Anderson
Coleman
Elliott
Hayes
Knotts
Leventis
Martin, L.
Matthews
Nicholson
Rankin
Sheheen
Campbell
Courson
Fair
Hutto
Land
Lourie
Martin, S.
McConnell
O'Dell
Scott
Thomas

 

NAYS
Bright           
Davis
Rose
Verdin
Bryant       
Grooms
Ryberg
Campsen
Mulvaney
Shoopman

 

On Passage

Ayes 31; Nays 12

 

AYES

Alexander
Coleman
Elliott
Hutto
Land
Lourie
Matthews
Nicholson
Rankin
Setzler
Williams

Campbell
Courson
Fair
Jackson
Leatherman
Malloy
McConnell
O'Dell
Reese
Sheheen

Cleary
Cromer
Hayes
Knotts
Leventis
Martin, L.
McGill
Peeler
Scott
Thomas

 

NAYS
Bright        
Davis
Massey
Ryberg
Bryant           
Grooms
Mulvaney
Shoopman
Campsen
Martin, S.
Rose
Verdin
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