SC House budget-writing committee starts debate

Gov. Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA — Debate on South Carolina’s new state budget kicks off in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The full committee starts budget discussions Tuesday morning.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s recommendations in her nearly $6 billion plan include tax cuts, $10 million for charter schools, and adding about 100 law enforcement officers. Her executive budget would reduce state revenues by $140 million for breaks in personal and corporate income taxes. Her plan would begin a four-year phase-out of corporate income taxes and streamline six tax brackets into three, giving most taxpayers an $84 reduction.

Her budget would mean state workers would go a fourth year without a pay raise. Democrats say they will fight to give workers a raise following years of furloughs that reduced take-home pay.