Senate panel approves chance to forgive S.C. State’s loans

South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Senate committee has approved a plan that would allow South Carolina State University to pay $3 million to forgive more than $15 million worth of loans that kept the school from closing.

The Finance Committee approved the proposal on a 13-6 vote Tuesday.

The bill would have the state forgive $1 million of the loan for each year that the university pays a maximum $355,000 payment and does not run a deficit. It now moves to the Senate floor.

The school received two loans worth close to $18 million after budget problems threatened it accreditation.

State Sen. Tom Davis opposed the plan. The Beaufort Republican says it is too generous and turns what was supposed to be loans into grants.