House Budget Addresses Critical Needs Without New Borrowing

Legislative Update- March 12, 2015
March 12, 2015
State House Report #9
March 16, 2015

House Budget Addresses Critical Needs Without New Borrowing

COLUMBIA – Over the past three months the House Ways and Means Committee listened to testimony from dozens of government agencies and appropriated state dollars to fund the operations of state government. As a result of the unprecedented economic and population growth in South Carolina, the committee added a bond portion to the budget to fund vital statewide projects that include:

  • Desperately needed funding for workforce training, allowing South Carolinians to compete in the growing technologically innovative South Carolina economy.
  • Addressing the ever-growing capacity needs of the nationally renowned MUSC Children’s Hospital.
  • Giving law enforcement the ability to efficiently train advanced officers and to expand the State’s crime lab capacity to assist in reducing the current General Sessions backlog.

The House Ways and Means Committee continued diligently monitoring the state’s revenues as the budget process moved through the House, but the need for the bond to address these priorities seemed inevitable.

However the committee kept searching for places to trim as well as areas to restructure or reprioritize. Shortly before the House began debating the budget bill, the Ways and Means Chairman was informed of the possibility of several substantial one time amounts of money that would be available to the state in the next fiscal year.  While all of the money could not be certified, enough could be anticipated that commitment to long term bonded indebtedness was no longer a critically necessary step. This conservative approach on budgetary decisions is one reason South Carolina enjoys a AAA credit rating.  

What They’re Saying:

House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) said, “South Carolina families balance their own budgets and our state government is appropriately required to do the same. Chairman Brian White and the dedicated members of the House Ways and Means Committee worked hard to prepare a laudable fiscal blueprint that meets our state’s needs and I am proud that the House has coalesced around this plan.”

House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) said, “In today’s economy families and businesses have adjusted their budgets to do more with less money. Tonight the House Republican majority, working with Chairman White and the House Ways and Means members, sent a clear message that government should be held to that same standard exemplifying their connection to and respect for all hard-working South Carolinians.”

Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R-York) said, “I believe the members felt empowered because leadership worked with them to resolve budgetary concerns and moved the process forward.”

Representative Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) said, “Chairman Brian White showed leadership through this entire budget process. He was able to pass a budget funding the core needs of our state without increasing debt.”